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Important advice to protect yourself from phone scams - Please Read

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Lorrainef
TalkTalk Social Team

Every year countless people are targeted by phone scammers and criminal organisations. Sadly this is a growing problem across all sectors. Financial Fraud Action UK estimates that as many as 58% of people have received suspect calls about their banking details. 

 

Unfortunately TalkTalk and other telecommunications companies are not immune. We know some customers are currently being targeted by criminal scammers claiming to be from TalkTalk who have obtained their account and phone number. After further investigation, we’ve become aware that some limited information we have about some of our customers could have been accessed in violation of our security procedures. More information can be found in the FAQs below.

 

Please rest assured that your sensitive information of date of birth, bank, or credit card details have not been accessed. 

 

We have reported the matter to the Information Commissioner’s Office and we’re liaising with them and other official bodies, because unfortunately it is not only our customers who are being targeted by scammers.  If you would like more information on avoiding scams or reporting suspicious calls to TalkTalk please view our FAQs below. Alternatively, if you have any concerns or have been affected by this issue and would like to speak to us please call us free on the number below.

 

With scams of all kinds on the rise, it is so important for us all to remain aware and alert, especially when asked for personal banking details or to remote access your computer. We continually improve the advice we offer customers about how they can protect themselves from criminal phone scammers, as well as other fraud such as phishing emails.  If you are in any doubt about the legitimacy of a caller, please hang up and go to our website to get our correct contact details.

 

Remember:

  • TalkTalk will NEVER call customers and use an account number to identify you or prove that the call is genuine 
  • TalkTalk will NEVER call you and ask you to provide bank details unless we have had specific permission from you to do so (for example, so you can pay your bill.)
  • TalkTalk will NEVER call you and ask you to download software onto your PC unless you have previously contacted us, discussed and agreed a call back for this to take place.
  • TalkTalk will NEVER send you emails asking you to provide your full password. We'll only ever ask for two digits from it to protect your security.

TalkTalk is the only provider who offers all its privacy features for free so that customers can help avoid unwanted and scam calls. We also launched our HomeSafe service for nuisance calls, where customers can report persistent, unwanted and suspected scam calls. Our dedicated team will investigate and if calls are found to breach a strict set of criteria we will block them from being able to call any customer on our network.

 

Our advice on avoiding scams:

 

  • Bank details: if you have received a call and been asked for your bank details, this is likely to be a scam. If you are ever unsure, hang up and call the company back on their official number. If you are an existing TalkTalk customer and we call you - remember we will never ask you to give us your bank account details, unless we have your specific permission. If you need to supply account details to us in order to set up or change up a direct debit instruction, you can do this through your My Account or call us on the number displayed on your bill.
  • Dialing correct numbers: when calling TalkTalk or any other company, ensure you get the number from a trusted source - such as the official website or your latest bill or statement. If you get a call that feels suspicious, hang up and call back on the official number. You should always ensure the fraudster has hung up before you dial as sometimes they keep the line open to try to trick you. If you are in any doubt you should phone a friend or a trusted number first to make sure it goes through correctly.
  • Premium rate numbers: any messages asking you to make expensive phone calls – premium rate numbers start with 090 – especially when it comes to ‘prizes’ or ‘offers’, are most likely a scam.
  • Persuasive sellers: anyone that’s rushing you into a service or product and wants to take your bank details could quite easily be scamming you. Don’t allow yourself to be pressured or bullied
  • Use privacy features: TalkTalk is the only provider who offers all its privacy features completely free to help you manage unwanted callers. You can reject anonymous calls or block the last caller who rang you. Activate these free via My Account.  
  • Scam technical support: more scammers are calling people trying to gain remote access to their computer so they can gain access to personal information. You shouldn't be asked to pay for viruses to be cleared from your computer or to fix any issues over the phone. If you are, don’t give them any details and hang up. Unless we have your explicit permission in advance to do so, we will never call you and ask you to download software onto your PC or take over your computer in order to fix a problem.

Reporting to TalkTalk:

Received a call claiming to be from TalkTalk? Recently there has been an increase in the number of cases of scammers claiming to be from TalkTalk preying on our customers, and some of them were quoting their TalkTalk account number as well as their phone number.  

After further investigation, we’ve become aware that some limited information we have about some of our customers could have been accessed in violation of our security procedures. More information can be found in the FAQs below.

 

Please rest assured that your sensitive information of date of birth, bank, or credit card details have not been accessed. 

 

Scammers pretending to work for TalkTalk have called them and asked to download software onto their computers, which they say is to fix problems with their machines or broadband service. Once downloaded, the software allows the scammer to take over the computer.

 

If you receive a call reporting to be from TalkTalk that you think could be a scam you should end it immediately, even if the caller knows your name or other details. We advise all customers to report this to us so our dedicated fraud team can investigate on your behalf and help protect you and other customers from fraudulent activity.

 

You can call us on 0800 083 2710  or 0141 230 0707 (mobile friendly)

 


How did this happen?
Following a detailed investigation, we understand that some customer information, including account numbers, could have been illegally accessed in violation of our security procedures. No financial data was at risk as this is encrypted on our systems.
We have been working with an external specialist security company to take urgent and serious steps to prevent this happening again.

How will you stop this happening again?
As part of our ongoing approach to security, we constantly test our systems and processes using external security specialists. We have put every possible measure in place to try and stop this from happening again.
We have reported the matter to the Information Commissioner’s Office and we're liaising with them and other official bodies because these scammers are targeting every sector.

When did you become aware of this issue?
We initially received reports of this scam towards the end of last year, and ever since we have been working to find out how it happened, as well as putting in place robust security measures to stop it happening again. Now that we have completed this, we're letting you know what happened.

How can I protect myself against this scam?
We would please ask you to take extra care when anyone rings or emails you claiming to be from TalkTalk, we know that the scammers have been targeting our customers claiming that there is a problem with their computer (such as a virus), asking for remote access to download new software and requesting bank details to pay compensation. If you receive a call like this please hang up immediately.

Is my information still safe?
The data that was accessed was names, home addresses, phone numbers and TalkTalk account numbers, but please rest assured no financial data such as bank or credit card details, or dates of birth were taken as this is encrypted on our system. We believe that the scammers may be using the information they have illegally obtained to trick people into thinking they are genuine TalkTalk callers, and encouraging them to hand over more detailed information, such as their bank details.

We take our customers’ security incredibly seriously, so this is being dealt with at the highest level within TalkTalk and we have put every possible measure in place to try and stop this from happening again. In the meantime, we would please ask you to take extra care when anyone rings or emails you claiming to be from TalkTalk. We also have a range of privacy features that come as standard, just for our customers, including our unique HomeSafe nuisance call reporting service. TalkTalk is the only provider to offer all these for free, simply visit Privacy Features to learn more.