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Distinguished Guru
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Message 11 of 24

Re: My aunt and I are now receiving Bogus Phone Calls from India


@PaulVarjak wrote:

Andy_N, in response to your thoughtful reply...

 

I agree that these scammers will target anyone no matter with what ISP they are with; however, I am sure they do determine likely targets and would not repeatedly call someone they did not think had broadband. One reason I had called BT was because of an outstanding 'broadband fault' showing on my aunt's line, on BT's faults page. But my aunt had no broadband, and never has; she does not use a computer!

 

In my second post, I was actually questioning whether they were calling from Calcutta as the number was showing 'withheld', rather than 'international' as is usual for calls from overseas, where the number is not known. If, indeed, the call was from Calcutta (as claimed) the fact that 'withheld' was being shown would indicate that, at least, the number being 'withheld' was a UK number. Someone withholding their number from a BT call centre in India would probably also show as 'withheld', rather an 'international'.

 

The fact that there were several days between my calls to BT and the 'scam' calls to me and my aunt is actually in line with the fraudulent account opened up by Mr. S. Shaik on 24 December. Mr. Shaik opened that account in my name about 2 weeks after I enquired about the possibility of installing a second phone in my property - that is actuially what Mr. Shaik ordered in my name - a second line at my property, and I don't think that was a coincidence either. Mr. Shaik is definitely in India.

 

The man who called purporting to be from BRITISH LIFESTYLE SURVEY was offering services from a variety of companies (including British Gas and TalkTalk). A common theme amongst that list of companies is that they have Call Centres, where? You guessed it, in India! Maybe that is just a coincidence too?


Hi again. Thanks for the extra details.

 

However, chances are these days is that virtually everyone has a computer, so these scammers will invariably dial someone who hasn't got one. In these cases it would clearly seem extremely weird, and in your case assumptions could be made based on your poor recent experiences.

 

These scammers can often make repeat calls because the initial calls were not "closed". People have reported that they get called back immediately after hanging up.

 

With regard "withheld", I don't know if this can be triggered by international incoming calls, or indeed any call centres in foreign countries used by UK firms. Again people using VoIP systems may well show this, as opposed to Unavailable or International. I have caller display and see all 3 of these things when receiving these sorts of calls.

It's impossible to say where they originate, hence factually can't be guessed if I may be honest.

 

The bit about BRITISH .... has been around for years, and yes it's more than likely to be a coincidence.

 

I've read your other posts, which are quite disturbing of course.

 

If you don't mind me saying, these sorts of calls received can therefore be easily assumed as part of the problem, rather than typical scammers calling at random - and a lot of these calls do seem to be from people having similar sounding accents. If you do a web search for BRITSH ..... you will see a lot about it, and where they appear to be from.

However they may be a real company, but scammers could have effectively hijacked their name and all reports on the web being about scammers.

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PaulVarjak
Contributor
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Message 12 of 24

Re: My aunt and I are now receiving Bogus Phone Calls from India

I agree, we really have no idea where the calls are coming from but I did initiate a call trace using 1477, when I received the scam call. My service provider (talkTalk) will only take action in conjunction with the Police and only after five similar calls are received.

 

I am certainly not a person that receives many unsolicited calls - get one every few months. I am registered with TPS, ex-directory and my number is always withheld. In most of my dealings with non-local companies I give out a VOIP number only - which goes straight to voicemail - that stops me having to answer the vast majority of unwanted calls! The call that I received from BRITSH LIFESTYLE SURVEY was to my landline (not my VOIP number)

 

What I have learned is that by calling BT on 0800 800150 my landline number is visible in BT Indian Call Centres even though my number is withheld! I now avoid transmitting my CLI to BT Call Centres by calling BT's Head Office 020 7356 5000 and then asking for Residential Customer Services.

 

I do like to 'play my hunches' at times and I just have a 'feeling' that this could be a fraud across call centres in India involving personnel at many companies. The last time I got such a feeling was when I uncovered a Yellow Pages/BT fraud back in 1995. After a year of investigation, I arrived at the doorstep of BT Investigations, Sunrise Parkway in Milton Keynes, asking to speak to an investigator. What I had uncovered turned out to be a sizeable fraud against BT and the biggest fraud ever against Yellow Pages. And I was just a member of the public who used Yellow Pages to find a washing machine repairer!

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PaulVarjak
Contributor
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Message 13 of 24

Re: BT Salesperson Ordered Phone Line in my Name!

Thank you Paddy for your call today. I understand that a letter has now been written to me and is being posted first class today.

 

I did receive a bill today to cover delivery charge of the BT Home Hub 3 (that I never ordered) but this charge has already been withdrawn.

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PaulVarjak
Contributor
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Message 14 of 24

Re: BT Salesperson Ordered Phone Line in my Name!

I have now received a reply to my complaint about the fraudulent account opened in my name and the Data Protection issues that arise as a result of that fraudulent account opening.

 

 

 

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PaulVarjak
Contributor
1,190 Views
Message 15 of 24

BT Deny Account was Opened Fraudulently

I have now received a written response from BT denying any breach of the Data Protection Act and denying that an account was fraudulently opened in my name.

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PaulVarjak
Contributor
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Message 16 of 24

Re: BT Deny Account was Opened Fraudulently

I now know how this account was opened fraudulently...

 

1. Anyone calling BT on 0800 800 150, will display their number to the called party - even if the caller withholds their number - I have confirmed this by calling 0800 800 150 and asking the advisor to read back the number I am calling from.

 

2. If you call 0800 800 150 and withhold your number, the called party can see the name and address and BT account number originally assigned to that phone number when that number was a BT number! Again I have confirmed this by Calling BT as an ex-customer of 4 years and withholding my number.

 

3. I have also had it confirmed today by someone in credit referrals that there have been a number of incidents where BT sales staff have been bypassing credit checks without the knowledge of the BT credit referrals team.

 

Again, I have recorded all these calls.

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Distinguished Guru
1,148 Views
Message 17 of 24

Re: BT Deny Account was Opened Fraudulently


@PaulVarjak wrote:

I now know how this account was opened fraudulently...

 

1. Anyone calling BT on 0800 800 150, will display their number to the called party - even if the caller withholds their number - I have confirmed this by calling 0800 800 150 and asking the advisor to read back the number I am calling from.

 

2. If you call 0800 800 150 and withhold your number, the called party can see the name and address and BT account number originally assigned to that phone number when that number was a BT number! Again I have confirmed this by Calling BT as an ex-customer of 4 years and withholding my number.

 

3. I have also had it confirmed today by someone in credit referrals that there have been a number of incidents where BT sales staff have been bypassing credit checks without the knowledge of the BT credit referrals team.

 

Again, I have recorded all these calls.


Hi again.

 

With regard 1 and 2 ... calling the BT systems is likely to show the number calling (and hence therefore the address of the number, either in current or in the past) - so that checks can be made if someone is pretending to be calling from that number by attempting to withold the number. There is probably a legal requirement to keep this information for a number of years.

Witholding the number will not stop the number being presented to systems such as 999 for obvious reasons.

 

The number is just not presented to typical end users, business or residential.

 

With any large company, I suppose it's not unexpected for there to be a few rogue people bypassing systems and doing things they shouldn't. Even company bosses have done this as a few high profile cases over recent years will testify.

 

 

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PaulVarjak
Contributor
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Message 18 of 24

Re: BT Deny Account was Opened Fraudulently

Andy_N

 

According to the Information Commissioner representative I spoke to, BT are breaching the Data Protection Act if I withhold my number but it is still displayed to BT staff when I call 0800 800 150.

 

TYhere was some argument between the Police and Kingston Communications a few years agao, as Kingston Communications refused to pass on the caller's number to the Police/Fire/Ambulance on dialling 999, when the caller withheld their number. Kingston Communications mrefused to do so because they considered it a breach of the Data Protection Act.

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Distinguished Guru
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Message 19 of 24

Re: BT Deny Account was Opened Fraudulently


@PaulVarjak wrote:

Andy_N

 

According to the Information Commissioner representative I spoke to, BT are breaching the Data Protection Act if I withhold my number but it is still displayed to BT staff when I call 0800 800 150.

 

TYhere was some argument between the Police and Kingston Communications a few years agao, as Kingston Communications refused to pass on the caller's number to the Police/Fire/Ambulance on dialling 999, when the caller withheld their number. Kingston Communications mrefused to do so because they considered it a breach of the Data Protection Act.


Emergency calls are exceptional cases, including those doing it as a hoax. If a KCom customer called 999 and they refused to pass on the details to the relevant service (e.g. address, which is also personal details) then there could be all kinds of serious consequences.

 

With regard calling the BT 0800 number, I am still of the opinion that seeing the number is not necessarily an offence. I need to check the Ofcom website, it's complex.

 

http://stakeholders.ofcom.org.uk/telecoms/policy/calling-line-id/caller-line-id/

 

section 8.3 seems to be the relevant one here.

 

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PaulVarjak
Contributor
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Message 20 of 24

Re: BT Deny Account was Opened Fraudulently

Thanks for finding the relevant legislation; certainly section 8.3 is very relevant here, in particular the last sentence, which reads...

 

"Communications Providers will respect the privacy of callers who have elected to prevent the display of their line identities by not exploiting this information for telemarketing or any commercial purpose other than billing."

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