READER Irene Firth sends news of a new telephone scam. I checked it out and it appears to be genuine.
Someone calls claiming to be from BT and threatens to disconnect your line because of an unpaid bill.
He demands immediate payment of £31 or they will charge £118 to re-connect at a later date. One chap said he was with Virgin but the man said Virgin had to pay BT for line rental.
This scammer then offers to demonstrate that he really is from BT by saying he will disconnect the line. He says hang up and try and call someone else.
When you try, you find the line is dead. Then he rings back and says payment has to be made immediately by credit card.
By this time, of course, some people may be worried enough to comply. And the simple advice is: don’t.
The message that Irene passed on says: “Cutting off of the line is very simple.
“He stays on the line with the mute button on and you can’t dial out, but he can hear you trying. This is because the person who initiates a call is the one to terminate it.
“When you stop trying he cuts off and immediately calls back. You could almost be convinced.
“The sad thing is that it is so simple that it will certainly fool some people and once they have your credit/debit card details, there is nothing to stop them cleaning out your account.”
Whether this turns out to scam or another urban myth isn’t perhaps the point. The point is for people to be aware that others are out there trying to separate you and your money.