Scammers hired hundreds of 'staff' to defraud TalkTalk customers

BBC probe reveals scale of the scam

Woman smiling on phone/. photo by shutterstock
Great! You sound legit. Listen, can I send you my credit card details? Go on, click!

Hundreds of staff were hired by scammers in Indian call centres to defraud TalkTalk customers, according to a BBC report revealing the extent of the scam.

According to the report, employees worked in shifts and earned £120 per month phoning TalkTalk customers. The whistleblowers say they were given a script in which they were told to claim they were calling from TalkTalk.

The Register has documented the scam since February last year, which included customers being convinced to install a remote control software package via which they then deploy a trojan.

Fraudsters had breached maintenance visits data in order to convince customers to allow them remote access to their computers.

One customer told us he had been asked to download TeamViewer software, which was used to try to make a number of money transfers using third-parties' credit card information.

The on-going problems emerged again in June when another customer got in touch to say scammers had contacted her to say they were contacting all their customers regarding the hacking that happened last year.

Another customer who was contacted by scammers in December separately, got in touch with The Register to share the telephone number from which they rang in order to defraud him by £257.

The Register phoned the number, but the respondent purporting to be a TalkTalk representative hung up when we put it to them the number was being used by fraudsters.

Last month, the chief exec of TalkTalk, Dido Harding, stood down from the company after seven years in the role. Harding presided over TalkTalk during its catastrophic cyber-attack in 2015, in which nearly 157,000 users' details were divulged and which cost it £42m.

A TalkTalk spokeswoman said of the latest revelations: “We are aware that there are criminals targeting a number of UK and international companies, and we take our responsibility to protect our customers very seriously.

"This is why we launched our ‘Beat the Scammers’ campaign, helping all our customers to keep themselves safe from scammers no matter who they claim to be, while our network also proactively blocks over 90 million scam and nuisance calls a month.” ®

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