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Nuisance calls advice

| Written by Shetland News

TELECOMMUNICATIONS giant BT is warning islanders to be on their guard when receiving phone calls from people claiming to be from the company's technical department.

Local people have received numerous calls recently from scammers claiming that customers' broadband services would be disconnected for as long as two months because their computer was distributing malware.

These calls were all made from Edinburgh, Birmingham and Manchester style numbers, but when calling back all of the numbers were not being recognised.

On one occasion a BT customer received a call from an Edinburgh number on Tuesday, but when he put down the phone on the caller, she phoned back within seconds this time using a Manchester number.

A BT spokesman said the company was taking the security of its customers' accounts very seriously.

"We proactively warn our customers to be on their guard against scams," he said.

"Fraudsters use various methods to 'glean' your personal or financial details with the ultimate aim of stealing from you. This can include trying to use your BT bill and account number.

"Our advice is that customers should never share their BT account number with anyone and always shred bills. Be wary of calls or emails you're not expecting.

"Even if someone quotes your BT account number, you shouldn't trust them with your personal information."

BT said residential costumers should sign up to the company's call protect service that blocks nuisance calls at the exchange.

David Marsh of the local trading standards office added: "Never give out sensitive personal or financial information to someone who phones you, no matter who they claim to be or how convincing they seem.

"Instead, end the call and check that your phone line is clear by calling a friend or relative. You can then contact the organisation using a number you trust, such as one from a letter or statement or from the organisation's website."

Scam calls, e-mails or messages can be reported to Trading Standards at trading.standards@shetland.gov.uk, tel. 01595 744887 or in person at Charlotte House, or to Action Fraud at www.actionfraud.police.uk or on 0300 123 2040. They can also be reported at www.which.co.uk/campaigns/nuisance-calls-and-texts/ 

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