Suspected scam phone calls – latest tactics revealed

Cornwall Council’s Trading Standards has issued an urgent warning for the public and local businesses to be on their guard against unsolicited phone calls from people purporting to be from BT.

The warning comes after reports of calls to people at home and at work who say that the conversations are very convincing.

The caller asks you to perform tasks on your work or home computer and the reasons they give can range from suspected malware infection through to faults on the line. Typically, the bogus calls are intended to enable illegal access to personal and work e-mail accounts, files and networks which can then give access to personal and work records and details.

The reports so far suggest that both personal and work computers are being targeted and so the warning is clear: Please exercise caution if receiving any unsolicited calls from companies such as BT, Openreach or Microsoft.

It is unusual for organisations to contact customers directly so it is strongly advise that you DO NOT take any actions on your home or work computers as the result of an unsolicited call.

The Council’s Cabinet Member for Environment & Public Protection Sue James said: “These callers are very convincing, using their technical skills to fool even the most vigilant. So, unless you have reported a specific fault and were expecting to be contacted by the named company, do not give them the benefit of any doubts. Please share this information with your neighbours and friends and help protect each other. Stay safe, stay vigilant.”

Anyone who receives one of these calls is asked to make a note of the caller’s name, the purported company name and their phone number (where possible) and report the incident to the Citizens Advice Consumer Service on 03454 04 05 06.

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