My home phone rang at 8am the other day. That’s usually a bad sign. It looked like an international number, the USA to be specific, and since I have family there I thought it prudent to answer. I heard a voice tell me that he was Alex from BT and that he was phoning to tell me that my broadband was being disconnected in a couple of days if I didn’t do some things that he was going to tell me to do. I told him I was busy but if he gave me a number I would call him back.
He proceeded to give me a London number and then he started this huge monologue about how BT had received security warnings from my server and he mentioned malware and hacking and lots of other scary words that I didn’t really understand.
I hung up and immediately called BT. They told me that they would never give out a London number for customers to call, it would always be a freephone number, and that they would never speak to me the way ‘Alex’ spoke to me in the first place, scaring me with threats of disconnection and viruses and hacking. The guy I spoke to at BT told me that scams and viruses are a problem faced by many consumers in the UK and that BT is at the forefront of the industry to combat them. They have a number of specially trained advisors who can give advice and reassurance and can discuss services, like their free BT Call Protect service, which helps to block nuisance calls. Readers can find out more at www.bt.com/scams. BT Call Protect service proactively blocks calls from numbers known to be generating nuisance calls and drastically reduces the number of such calls customers receive. Customers can get help and pre-register for this free service at bt.com/CallProtect.
If you receive a call from someone claiming to be from BT then you can check the validity of the caller by calling BT back on 0800 800 150.
The same goes for calls from other companies asking you to provide the caller with information abut your account.