Tech corner

KCOM urges customers to be wary of latest phone scam

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KCOM is urging people to be vigilant against a wave of scam calls targeting the region.

Customers have reported dozens of unsolicited scam calls in recent days from fraudsters claiming to be their internet provider.

An automated message tells the customer to press 1 on their keypad to avoid their broadband being disconnected.

The calls are not from KCOM and are the latest in a flurry of scams designed to part householders from their cash or gain control of their computers.

Cathy Phillips, KCOM’s chief marketing officer, urged KCOM customers to be wary when receiving unexpected calls and to be alert for fraudsters online.

She said: “We have recently seen a spate of scam callers claiming customers’ accounts have been compromised by criminals in Mexico in an attempt to get local residents to reveal their personal banking details.

“The best way for people to protect themselves is to treat any requests for bank details or indeed any personal information, with extreme caution. We never ask for a customer’s credit or debit card details over the phone and will always transfer customers who wish to make a payment over to our secure, automated payment line. If you are ever suspicious about a call, we recommend you hang up immediately.

“Unfortunately, scams of this kind are on the rise. While those customers we’ve spoken to have realised something's not quite right and ended the call – and have avoided losing money as a result -  these callers can be very convincing so we want to warn people to be extra vigilant.”

Each year millions of people in the UK fall prey to fraudsters, many of whom are using increasingly sophisticated techniques and technology to con their victims.

There has also been an increase in email fraud across the UK, some of which are sent from experienced criminals.

To protect against online fraud, KCOM advises customers to install high-quality, up to date anti-virus and security on their internet devices, to avoid opening emails and attachments from unknown sources and to make sure when shopping online that they’re on a legitimate and secure website.

If you receive a potential scam call or suspicious email, please report it to Action Fraud, the UK’s national fraud and cybercrime reporting centre by calling 0300 123 2040 or by visiting www.actionfraud.police.uk

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