Is this BT email a scam or real?

The Daily Telegraph - Your Money - - FRONT PAGE -

This af­ter­noon my wife re­ceived an email al­legedly from Open­reach which, when opened, dis­played a let­ter from BT, com­plete with logo say­ing “New BT On­line No­ti­fi­ca­tion”.

It started with “Hello” and then gave her email ad­dress.

Then it said: “Your monthly pay­ment was re­cently de­clined. The de­cline could be due to in­suf­fi­cient funds, card ex­pired, etc.

“Since you haven’t pro­vided us new billing in­for­ma­tion yet, we thought we’d re­mind you to please pro­vide us with up­dated billing in­for­ma­tion to avoid any billing prob­lems with your ac­count. Thanks for choos­ing BT.” RG, SUR­REY

You won­dered how the emailer knew your wife had an ac­count with BT. In fact, this is a clas­sic phish­ing email, sent to many peo­ple in the knowl­edge that it will strike a chord with a few.

There were var­i­ous clues that this was not what it pur­ported to be. One be­ing that it was sup­pos­edly from Open­reach, which does not bill your wife. BT does.

Then it men­tioned a di­rect debit taken in the mid­dle of the month, when yours is taken at the end.

Also, you both know there are suf­fi­cient funds in the bank ac­count so it is un­likely such a re­quest would have been de­clined.

Some­times scam let­ters like this use the name of a gen­uine em­ployee, which will have been ac­quired from pa­per­work or in some other way.

You had clicked through to a fake web­site, which was com­plete with BT liv­ery. Then you found a page re­quest­ing you to en­ter your full par­tic­u­lars, such as name, ad­dress and card de­tails along with the CVC num­ber at the back of the card. You never pay BT by card.

You saw through it all and did not pay any­thing or re­lease any de­tails. In­stead, you had an on­line chat with BT that con­firmed your di­rect debit was fine and BT had not sent the email.

BT said the scam had only be­come op­er­a­tional that

day and it had taken steps to close down the site within 12 hours. The com­pany added: “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.”

Find de­tails of scams on bt.com/scams and visit get­safeon­line.org.

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