I can only comment from personal experience having seen the situation from a variety of perspectives.
The call centres are locked down tighter than prisons - last time I looked, pads and pens were not permitted (hence you sometimes get asked to repeat details). The PC software is a rigid interface with no possibility of accessing the internet, and even the USB ports are locked down so you cannot use additional drives. I don't know if personal phones are permitted, but on past experience I would say its unlikely. What you suggesting effectively means someone running out of the office directly after memorising your details, and somehow transmitting these externally.
I don't know about you, but I would struggle to remember a phone number, name and linked account reference - it all sounds a bit Krypton factor to me. This is before I start talking about video camera monitoring, data leakage prevention, cyber defence measures and firewalls.
I to had a rotten experience from BT India lately and whilst I'd love to indulge your theory, I have to stick to facts as I know them. Some people attracted to a related forum topic doesn't support the theory that there is a widespread issue. It just tells me that either someone has an extremely good memory and you may be possibly be right, or that its simply co-incidence which feels more likely. The best way to prove your theory would be to find the one person on this forum who has managed to ask the caller the right questions [presuming you haven't] - whats my account number, whats the fault reference, whats my address... I hope that someone does, even if that proves me wrong - although my colleagues ID was recently stolen and they went to extraordinary lengths to capture his data, his post, everything. This to me is more scary than a vague possibility big ol BT is at fault.
One last word - everyone, please DESTROY your unwanted paperwork. Do not bin it. Paper bills are a disaster for security.
As an ex BT manager myself, I can appreciate your loyalty, but I am not convinced it is a coincidence that all the people on this forum receive 'scam' calls shortly after reporting a fault. Determined crooks will find ways round any security measure, and with the relatively poor pay of Indian workers, it doesn't surprise me in the least if some BT call centre employees succumb to the temptation.
I of course cannot prove any of this, but remaine convinced that something is amiss somewhere, as apparently do most of the posters of this forum.
Well I guess if the Americans can elect Trump, just about anything is possible.
Cyber is not my field, but I do seem to recall some figures somewhere stating you need quite considerable numbers to make any scam like your suggesting worthwhile - most people are not vulnerable to this kind of scheme. It still surprises me that Sky actually still ask for your full password when calling you. I actually acted as a witness against someone who fraudently used a BT account way back in 1993... but I think it would be harder to profitably exploit your account now.
It is actually possible someone knew there was a BT repair underway and simply searched for your address and details. My colleague that I mentioned earlier was watched, his mail intercepted, and other methods used. He only found out by accident when the post office queried the SECOND re-direction request for specific mail (we think the thieves didn't expect it and didn't intercept the mail this time). It would be interesting to read other providers forums, although I'm not sure there are many in the top 5... 🙂
One interesting experiment I tried was to search for an old username AND a password of mine - and bingo, it came up (I'd changed it since) on a selling site. Not sure I'd recommend it unless you don't use either anymore.
I just don't feel it would be practical under the existing security - but at least you have a voice - and there will be BT staff other than the moderators reading these forums, so do keep it up.
It appears that you are waisting your time if you are waiting for a response from BT regarding this.
It has been pointed out to BT numerous times what is happening and in particular that some, not all, of the scammers quote the BT customer's account number to them and that the majority of the scam calls are received shortly after the BT customer has had interaction with BT Customer Services and in particular with the over seas Customer Services department.
BT's response is that it is coincidence and tell customers to report it to Action Fraud, an organisation that does not investigate frauds. From Action Fraud website:
Basically it only hands out advice!
I would advise that if you have received such a call shortly after interaction with BT's customer services and in particular if the scammer quotes your BT account Number, that you report this to the Information Commisoner's Office
and if you have been defrauded by the scammer that you report it to your local Police.
@blipit- You make valid points, and some excellent ones regarding advice for safety online; But, I'm with @SwanseaMick (as you will see from my previous posts) in that I'm convinced that there is a clear association, at least in my experience, between the customer contacting BT's Indian Call Centre and a flurry of scam calls - on several occasions. I have a working understanding of basic statistics and probability etc. and I still think the clustering is beyond coincidence. Proving it based on individual experience is, of course, nigh-on impossible, although gathering evidence from numerous sources may well increase the likelihood of the hypothesis being proven.
Your experience of call-centre security may well be accurate, but one doesn't have to look back far in time to find a precedent for a similar leak - it definitely happened to TalkTalk in India.
Goodness knows there are enough immoral people running dodgy call-centres nearer home, (I'm sure SwanseaMick has heard of the Winchester family and Kissick & co who have plagued UK residents over the years with cold-calling with no regard to TPS etc out of Princess House in his home town), and with many tech firms in India having the latest technology, it isn't hard to imagine that the fortresses you describe are really impregnable in terms of information.
@Benson7 - I wish I thought of asking them to give my account number each time; I've certainly experienced at least one crook calling who did have my account number, and I'm with you on feeling that this makes it more likely that BT database has been the source of the information obtained by the would-be scammer.
I think the data we are all lacking, quite frankly, is the volume of faults vs the number of these scam calls.
It concerns me of course, if people really are having their account numbers quoted at them, as this isn't data which would be readily available using social media, although I wouldn't rule out some enterprising hacker finding a way.
I'm not dismissing peoples concerns, far from it, but even if all 160 posts (so far) in this forum received a scam call (only a few I think had account numbers quoted?) its still a tiny drop in a large ocean of faults. A quick google tells me the fault volume in 2012 was 2.5 million. Speaking as a company director of an IT business, I would be likely to take the complaint seriously enough to log it, but analysis is going to be too expensive and impractical even assuming the customer shares all the information they have. If its a breach like Tesco's I may well retire somewhere sunny with no extradition treaty.
As I said, cyber is not my field, but knowing BT subscribe heavily to ISO27001 in addition to the legal and regulatory controls makes me wonder if this isn't a cyber issue rather than 'sneakernet' (the practice of walking data out the door for those not as old as me). This isn't a reference to attacks on BT as such, there are many techniques for obtaining customer data from customers themselves. I was walking past someones recycling bin the other day and they had actually dumped visble bills -sigh-.
Collect as much information as you can from such calls, or alternatively simply ask them for a number you can call back as you are serving dinner/changing baby/kicking cat etc. - I doubt a scammer is going to be pleased to do that.
Oh, and I am a cat lover. and no cats were harmed during the writing of this message.
I've experienced a simular situation earlier today. An Asian gentleman called and identified himself as David Wilsonfrom Bt Technical Department.He said a problem on my PC which he would fix for me if I gave him access to my computer.I do have a problem,but I told him I would need some confirmation that he did represent BT and I ask him for a telephone number that I could call him on. He duly provided a number -0203 2876136- . I dialled the number and it did ring but no one answered.
He,David called again about 10 minutes later and I told him what had happened. He said his supervisor must have been on the line. I told him I wanted to speak with the supervisorand he proceeded togive me a second number -0203 1988128- at this point I tried to enlist someassistance from BT. "What a painful experience this was !!" After 25 minutes I finally got a response but little real support from BT, other than that I should block all numbers beginning 0203. Mr Wilson called again at 11:10 tosay that the BT Technical Department are going to suspend my internet usage for 2 months if I don't return their call.
The scammers are pests but couldn't BT be more proactive in providing more readily available assistance to its clients!
Bt will never call you and tell you that you have a problem with your computer. BT have nothing to do with faults on computers and are not interested in your computer or any device that you may use to access the Internet.
If you are in any doubt you should never ask the caller for a phone number to call to check if its a genuine call. They could supply you with any number and have a friend answer it and tell you its genuine. They could also give you a premium rate number to call that could cost you lots of £s.
Rest assured that if anybody calls you out of the blue and tells you that you have a problem that they need to access your computer in order to fix, THEY ARE SCAMMERS. DO NOT ALLOW THEM TO ACCESS YOUR COMPUTER. No ifs no buts, hang up on them. DO NOT attempt to call them back.
There is no way BT will suspend your Internet because you won't allow them access to your computer.
BT will only suspend your account if you don't pay your bills or if you are using the Internet for something illegal.
See links for more information.