PPI callers and many others have been using automated systems for years that call and ask you questions then get you to press a button to be connected to an agent.
Automated systems are a lot cheaper than staff so for the criminals engaged in large scale scamming, this can be the most efficient way.
Action Fraud Technical Support Scam Calls
Action Fraud say people are receiving cold-calls from fraudsters claiming to represent Action Fraud. When the calls are answered, an automated voice asks the responder to “press 1 if you have made a report to Action Fraud.” When the responder presses 1, they are transferred to a fraudster.
Victims are informed that their computers have been hacked, which has led to their online bank account being compromised and funds being withdrawn. One particular victim was told that £40,000 had fraudulently left their account.
The scammer may ask for remote access to the victim’s computer, via a remote access tool. Once the scammer has that, they may be able to access confidential information, login and passwords, credit card details etc.
The scam sees people called randomly with an automated message warning that they are under investigation by HMRC and need to call the number given or “face serious legal consequences.”
If you call back the crooks will likely ask for your bank details and make off with your money.
HMRC does not make threatening phone calls. HMRC will call people about outstanding tax bills, and sometimes use automated messages, however it would include your taxpayer reference number.
Talk Talk Example
“I have had an automated phone call from this number 081233472243. It was informing me that my internet connection would be cut at 1pm today, press button 1 to speak to an agent or button 2 to stay connected. I chose to hang up.
This is the first time I have had an automated call, I have had a lot of calls lately concerning my internet connection, I always hang up or sometimes they hang up when I tell them I don’t believe they’re from TalkTalk. They always ask me to turn my computer on, I always refuse.”
Good job she didn’t fall for the scam.
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