Phishing Phone Calls

I don’t normally answer the landline phone at home. Mostly because I am not in but also because it’s only my parents who might phone me on it. I used to have a phone which was wireless but about a year ago I decided to buy a simple wired home phone and plug that in. About two weeks ago I decided to answer the phone while it was ringing as it would save my mum then phoning my mobile.

It wasn’t my mum. It was a lady with an Indian accent calling to say she was from BT Open Reach. I was curious as to what she was going to say so decided to go along with her selling or stealing plans for a while.

Have you noticed that your internet connection is sometimes fast and sometimes slow?

I hardy ever notice any speed difference in my bandwidth but I went along with it any way as I wanted to see what she would do. I don’t particularly recall what she said next and to be honest the line was so bad I didn’t really hear clearly anyway. Eventually I told her she must think I’m stupid and that she was clearly phishing for details or control of my computer. I also told her it was illegal to phone me as I am subscribed to the TPS. She swore at me and called me stupid and hung up the phone.

Better to have her talking to me than someone else who might fall for her trickery.

Then, again, recently I answered the phone at the weekend because I thought it might be a family member getting in touch. It wasn’t. It was a gentleman with an accent claiming to be from BT Open Reach and that they had monitored my internet connection and there were issues. Had I noticed that sometimes the connection is slow?

Yes, I responded sometimes my internet connection is slow. I then kept him talking for about ten minutes as I waited for my computer to start and I asked a few questions. Eventually he wanted me to enter an address into a web browser. I honestly couldn’t understand what URL he wanted me to type the phone line was again a terrible connection and so I had to get him to spell it out a few times. It was something to do with a site called enydesk. I’ve just googled that and it turns out it was probably anydesk but his accent was quite strong that I got the initial letter wrong.

I didn’t type this into my computer. I just kept the guy talking. I also asked if he was UK based, while he clearly wasn’t, he gave an address somewhere in London. So I explained that it was illegal for him to be phoning me as I’m a member of the TPS. He just kept asking me to enter the address into a web browser.

Eventually, he decided he wasn’t going to get anywhere with me and he asked why I was talking. Because all the time he was talking to me he wasn’t talking to someone who might actually believe him. This seemed to upset him slightly. He called me a “fucker” and hung up.

This scam bothers me because I can imagine many older people easily being taken in by this. Actually even some younger people could be taken in by it too. It’s possible too many people are too trusting. I don’t know what they were planning to do with my computer but had I typed that address into a browser and then entered the code they were going to give me they would have had access to all my data and everything I did on this machine. They are the fuckers.

I got their UK number. The scam was sophisticated enough that caller ID would have shown a legitimate phone number. It was 01206 504914. I suspect these people internet their calls into a UK outgoing number to try to appear more legitimate to people who have caller ID.

Later that day I was chatting to a friend and while he has a land line for the internet connection he has never plugged a phone into the wall. I decided to unplug my phone. It’s still sitting there on the shelf but will soon be chucked into the electronic graveyard box in the cupboard. I just need to inform the two people who would possibly call my landline and then it’s done. No more wires for phone calls.