KC warns customers of scam callers


Published: Wednesday 28th January 2015 by Leo Stevens

Comments (3)

Customers of KC have been targeted by a scam that aims to trick consumers into revealing their credit card details.

Residents have reported receiving a call from a person posing as a KC employee who offers to sell them a call blocking service. If they agree, the caller asks for payment over the phone for a device the customer will not receive.

Sue Helmont, director of consumer services at KC, warned residents to be wary of any callers claiming to be from KC who ask for credit or debit card details.

She said: “Although we do offer a call blocking service, we haven’t been calling customers about it and never ask for a customer’s credit card details over the phone. If a customer wishes to make a credit card or debit card payment to KC, we will always refer them to our secure, automated payment line.”

It is not the first time KC customers have received scam calls from people claiming to be from the communications company.

Some customers have been contacted by callers who tell them their PC has been infected by a virus and try to persuade them to allow remote access to their PC, which could allow them to install spyware on it.  This hoax is a bit different – the caller says they’re from Microsoft Windows Support or another computer support company, and tells you your PC has been infected by a virus or is running slowly. They say they can solve the problem remotely if you give them your credit card details and / or remote access to your PC.

Falling for this trick and giving the scammer remote access to your computer could allow them to install spyware on it. From there it’s easy for them to access personal information on your PC and use it to steal money or even your identity.

In other hoax calls customers have been told their phone would be disconnected unless they made an immediate credit card payment.

The problem is a UK-wide one: figures released last month by Financial Fraud Action UK showed a significant rise in the number of consumers targeted by phone scammers during 2014.

Its most recent research found that 58 per cent of respondents received suspect calls compared to 41 per cent in a similar study the previous year.

Sue Helmont continued: “While many customers reporting these scams to us have realised something’s not quite right and have ended the call, we are aware of some who have been taken in by what can be very convincing calls by experienced criminals.

“ Fraud and attempted fraud can be reported to Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040 or via the non-emergency number for the police on 101.”

Nuisance calls, which include unwanted marketing calls and automated messages as well as scam calls, have in recent years become a growing problem. Research by Ofcom in 2013 found that 82 per cent of consumers taking part in its study received a nuisance call on their landline during a four-week period.

Free services like the Telephone Preference Service can help cut the number of nuisance calls received. KC also offers a call blocking product called trueCall. Trials of trueCall conducted by the Angus Council Trading Standards team in 2013 found that it blocked 98 per cent of nuisance calls. More information about trueCall is available by calling KC on 01482 602555.


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Published: Wednesday 28th January 2015 by Leo Stevens

Comments (3)
  • Ian Morris

    It should be pointed out to KC that the following comment : “We would encourage customers who have any doubts about a caller claiming to be from KC to hang up and call us on 602555″ is a highly dangerous procedure. It is frequent practice for fraudsters to leave an open line and when the customer makes the suggested call immediately, it is the fraudsters themselves who answer the customer’s call and not KC. This would leave the customer extremely vulnerable to a scam!

    KC is urged to qualify this advice as soon as possible.

    • http://www.heytoday.co.uk/ HEYToday

      Hi Ian,
      It’s a very good point – this is becoming a common practice in more sophisticated scams. We’ve removed this advice from the article. Thank you for your comment.

  • Edwin Flynn

    Glad you pointed that out, Ian. I read complaints lodged at Callercenter.com and learned about how phone scammers trick victims into calling them back. It is indeed dangerous. And also, be warned that scammers can now spoof caller IDs. They can falsify the phone number that appears on the recipient’s caller ID and use any number as a cover, even that of the local police department. So don’t rely on the machine. Trust your instincts. If the call is suspicious, treat is as a scam call and hang up.

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