ALERT OVER BOGUS PHONE BILLS
Scam is bid to find out bank details
A BOGUS firm is sending out fake phone bills to trick people into handing over bank account details. Residents have received bills from “TeleBilling” telling them they’ve made calls to chat lines and demanding payment.
HOUSEHOLDERS in the West of Scotland are being warned over a bogus phone bill scam.
Unsuspecting residents have received fake phone bills from a firm which calls itself TeleBilling.
The letter tells the recipient they have made calls to “chat hot-lines” and are liable for a £39.50 charge.
The bogus firm then tries to trick people into passing on their bank details for payment. If the bill goes unpaid more letters are sent, each becoming more intimidating.
Victims are threatened with court action and being blacklisted if they do not pay. Some people have even received phone calls threatening to disconnect their phoneline.
A mother of two, from Giffnock, East Renfrewshire, received bills from TeleBilling for a mobile phone she doesn’t own.
The 51-year-old, who asked not to be named, said: “I have never owned a mobile with the number stated on the bill, noone in my family has, so I have no idea how they got my name and address.
“It is very worrying. I tried to phone the helpline number but it just goes to voicemail, which just asks you to leave your details, and there is no fixed address of the company made available.
“The whole thing just seemed really suspicious.
“It’s scary to think some people would just hand over their details to these crooks. If the letters continue I will have to get the police involved.”
A 83-year-old grandmother, from the same area, has also been targeted by the scam.
She said: “When I opened the letter I was really confused as I don’t have a mobile phone and don’t know the company.
“I asked my son about it and he said not to contact them, as it did not sound legitimate.
“I’ve taken my son’s advice but still receive bills claiming I owe them money.
“It’s very disturbing to know that these people can get your details so easily and continue to hassle you.
“My only hope is that I stop getting these letters soon.”
A spokesman for Consumer Direct said: “People should be aware of any kind of offer or communication which asks them to give out their personal details.
“We are concerned some people, especially older or vulnerable residents, may fall for this trick and encourage people to look closely at the information and question the bills.”
If you receive a suspicious bill or call and would like advice call Consumer Direct on 0 8 4 5 4 0 4 0 5 0 6 or visit www.consumerdirect.gov.uk. Watchdog Phonepay Plus has been made aware of the scam.