February 27th 2015
Internet service provider TalkTalk is warning customers that they may be approached by scammers after it suffered a major data breach several months ago.
Fraudsters are using the stolen data to call TalkTalk customers and deceive them into revealing their bank details. The scam is being made more convincing by the fact that the fraudsters have not only customers' phone numbers but also their addresses and TalkTalk account numbers.
One victim, for example, was tricked out of £2,800 by a female claiming to be from the company's fraud team.
The data theft was discovered when the company experienced a spike in complaints about scam calls between October and December. An external security company found that the company's internal systems had been illegally accessed by a third party that also had access to its network. A spokesperson told the BBC that it is not clear quite how many customers' records were compromised but that it was in the "small thousands." TalkTalk currently has some four million customers in the UK.
Customers affected by the hack – including having received scam calls resulting from it – can call a dedicated helpline: 0800 083 2710. TalkTalk has told customers who have been tricked into revealing their confidential banking details should also contact their bank. The company has also posted advice on its help page.