Avon & Somerset Police have reported there have been a substantial number of telephone scams reported recently. Once again HMRC has been used, where the caller says that they are from the Tax Office and that you owe money and a warrant has been issued for your arrest. Another scam currently going around is for someone claiming to be from BT saying that there is a problem with your internet. This one seems to be centre on giving them control of your computer to allow them to see if everything is in order. Once they have control they may demand an astronomical fee to solve the alleged “problem” or want a regular monthly payment to ensure everything stays in order. This type of ransom scam may also makes you vulnerable to viruses looking for financial information.
If you receive any form of phone call from someone you don’t know, never give them any personal or financial information and never let them take control of your computer. If you have any concerns, hang up the phone immediately. If you are still worried, contact the company the scammer claims to be from to check the validity of their claim. Use the phone number from an old bill or written communication or use the telephone directory. NEVER use a phone number given to you by the caller as it will go to an accomplice or to a premium price phone line.
It should be appreciated that these telephone scams are no longer one-man back-room operations, but highly sophisticated undertakings running on a industrial scale usually from foreign countries.