POLICE in Warwickshire and West Mercia are warning members of the public to be alert to potential hoax calls pretending to be from telephone or computer companies.
There have been a few reports involving hoax phone calls claiming to be employees from either BT or TalkTalk to inform potential victims that they have a virus on their computers, or they are due a refund.
Incidents have been reported in the Alcester and Harbury areas in Warwickshire and Malvern, Worcestershire over the past week.
A call from someone claiming to be from Talk-Talk accessed the victim’s laptop as they claimed the victim was owed £200. The victim realised later on and the offenders had attempted to take money from the victim’s bank accounts, however the bank has blocked money transfer. (Incident 219-22-06-16 – Alcester)
An elderly person in her 80s received a call from Talk-Talk who advised her that they needed to download some software on to her computer and obtained their personal information. They were on the phone for approximately for an hour and a half and advised her that she was owed a refund and this is why they needed their bank details. (Incident 150-18-06-16 – Harbury)
How to protect yourself
- Do not allow remote access to your computer. • Hang up the phone when you identify that the call is uninvited. • Never divulge passwords or pin numbers. • BT, Microsoft, other computer companies or someone on their behalf will never call you.
TalkTalk have also said they will NEVER:
- Ask for your bank details to process a refund. If you are ever due a refund from them, they would only be able to process this if your bank details are already registered on their systems. • Call you and ask you to download software onto your computer, unless you have previously contacted TalkTalk, discussed and agreed a call back for this to take place. • Send you emails asking you to provide your full password. They will only ever ask for two digits from it to protect your security.
It is also a good idea to contact the company who the fraudulent caller claims to be from, especially if this is a bank. Police urge anyone who receives similar calls to dial 101 and report them.