One of my clients, based in Bristol, is in his 80s. He was having some issues with TalkTalk – the line wasn’t so good or something. About the same time, a call came in, claiming to be from TalkTalk. They were offering to help, and they convinced my client to type a few things into his PC. It turns out, it was TeamViewer being installed.
They got him to reveal the codes and passwords, and quickly remoted in. While they were in, and this is another clever bit, they had my client writing down several long numbers and letters – made up – just to distract him from what they were attempting to do.
Part way through, luckily, he became suspicious and turned his PC off. They were not happy. They tried everything to get him to switch it back, sometimes becoming angry and aggressive on the phone.
We’re not sure which country the call centre was from, my client thought they sounded from India or Bangladesh, but that could be from many different countries.
Is enough being done to stop this? I don’t think so. If anything it’s getting worse.
I advise my clients to trust no-one who calls. Wait several days, and then if you think there is an issue or a need, call the company direct. By then you will have really thought about that call, and what was said. You will realise it was a scam, or will call the correct number and get to the bottom of it. The same can also be said about emails that come.
We’re forced to have quite a cagey/guarded mindset on the phone, and with email. It is because there are so many scams going on. They prey on the older generation who tend to want to be polite and are not used to this happening.
Once, on my mobile, O2 “called me”.
“Hello Mr Clark.”
“Hello”, I said.
“So we can confirm it is you Mr Clark, what is your date of birth?”
“My date of birth, I said, you have to be joking. You called me, I know who I am….who are you?”
“O2”, they said.
“Well how to do I know?”, said I.
I asked them what it was about, and they could not tell my until I gave my DOB.
At this point I ended the call.