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Three of TalkTalk’s Indian Call Centre Staff Arrested for Scamming

Thursday, January 28th, 2016 (7:46 am) - Score 3,012

Relations between UK broadband provider TalkTalk and sub-contractor Wipro, which operates their outsourced call centre(s) in India, have been strained after the ISP identified three customer support agents that appeared to be stealing personal data from subscribers and using it in scams.

Customers of TalkTalk are by now no strangers to the risk of scam callers and indeed many have been subjected to exactly that sort of con thanks to several major security breaches of the ISPs systems, with the latest Cyber-Attack occurring in October last year (here).

Immediately prior to last year’s breach there was also another significant incident via an attack on the Carphone Warehouse, which indirectly affected TalkTalk’s Mobile subscribers (here) and lest we not forget the major breach in 2014 that resulted in masses of fraudulent calls (here); although TalkTalk was significantly slower to admit to that one.

Since then the ISP has been attempting to repair their reputation and as such they’ve also been conducting an extensive security review. As part of that the ISP appears to have identified that not all of the fraudulent calls to their subscribers were the result of earlier cyber-attacks and some appear to have occurred due to the abuse of Wipro’s call centre staff in India.

The related investigation identified three members of Wipro’s call centre staff who appeared to have been involved in the abuse of TalkTalk’s private customer details and all have now been arrested by Police in Kolkata.

TalkTalk Statement

Following the October 2015 cyberattack, we have been conducting a forensic review to ensure that all aspects of our security are as robust as possible – including that of our suppliers.

As part of the review, we have been working with Wipro, (a call centre provider to TalkTalk and a number of other major businesses) and the local Police in Kolkata. Acting on information supplied by TalkTalk, the local Police have arrested three individuals who have breached our policies and the terms of our contract with Wipro. We are also reviewing our relationship with Wipro.

We are determined to identify and deal effectively with these issues and we will continue to devote significant resource to keeping our customers’ data safe. Data theft and scams are a growing issue affecting all businesses and they are notoriously difficult to investigate and prosecute. We are pleased that our investigations have yielded results, and will continue to do everything we can to tackle these crimes.

Meanwhile a spokesperson for Wipro went into damage limitation mode and said the firm was “committed to maintaining the integrity and confidentiality of all customer data and has a zero tolerance policy on security breaches. Working with our customer, Wipro reported potential illegal activity to the relevant law enforcement authority in India, as soon as it came to the company’s attention.”

British consumers already have a strong dislike of outsourced call centres, which don’t always appear able to deliver the same quality as their UK based counterparts. At the same time such remote services also require that our personal data be shipped outside of the country and managed abroad, which in this case hasn’t gone quite according to plan.

The situation has no doubt strained TalkTalk’s relationship with Wipro, although it’s the relationship with their subscribers that will no doubt be of more concern and that’s far harder to repair.

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By Mark Jackson
Mark is a professional technology writer, IT consultant and computer engineer from Dorset (England), he also founded ISPreview in 1999 and enjoys analysing the latest telecoms and broadband developments. Find me on Twitter, , Facebook and Linkedin.
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12 Responses
  1. Kits says:

    This is a prime example why we should not outsource anything!

    1. Jonny says:

      It’s a prime example of why security should be built in to any systems used, and care always needs to be taken to ensure that when access to personal data is required by anybody that the minimum required amount of data is shared. As well as having effective systems in place to prevent data loss – maybe you require access to personal data to happen via a remote session back to systems that are entirely under your control.

    2. FibreFred says:

      I’m sure we have dishonest people in this country as well 🙂

    3. wirelesspacman says:

      Surely not! =-O

    4. Gareth says:

      I worked at TicketMaster many moons ago which is the UK’s biggest events retailer. We had the same thing happening in their. The Police came in one day and arrested a group and it turns out they had been using customers credit card details for other stuff.

    5. Steve Jones says:


      No doubt, but India does not figure very highly (#76) on the the latest corruption perception index. Of course call centres (off-shore or not) are vulnerable to staff misusing information, but well-designed systems really ought not allow this sort of thing to happen on industrial levels. Often its technical support staff who are the weakest point. Government agencies are hardly immune. Recall Edward Snowden?

      In any event, still not good publicity for TalkTalk and their reputation for leaking customer data.


    6. Spencer says:

      Really Kits?
      There are such thing as dishonest people in the UK!

  2. Kits says:

    In this country we can see justice itr is our law over there you never know plus for everyone caught just how many get away with it.

    I have even changed banks due to offshore call centers will not deal with any company that uses them.

  3. Mike C says:

    TalkTalk should just call it a day, how much more bad press do they need?

  4. Captain Cretin says:

    Not the first time this has happened at an Indian call centre, and with the bribes mentioned last time being more than a years pay, you can see why some are tempted.

    You can also see why people DONT LIKE IT when a company they are supposed to trust outsources their private data to a country known for its corruption.

  5. We deal in all type of inbound/Outbound call centre project . We have a talented and qualified Staff. Contact us to get further information.

  6. Dot Forster says:

    This scamming has certainly not stopped. I get about three a day from cheats purporting to be from Talk talk, They say that my broadband has been affected by a serious virus and that it will have to be shut down. they then ask that to stop this i should go to my computer and enter the TeamSpeak web address which of course gives them unlimited access to my computer. They will them be able to access bank data etc as they have with many unsuspecting victims who have been defrauded of thousands of pounds
    Of course we cannot trust offshore agencies. Piracy is their business just like RBS were hijacked by their Indian centre
    Why can’t we in England support our own people and pay that bit extra for advisers we can trust and understand! We deserve to be scammed in England. we are idiots!

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