O2 has warned customers that fraudsters are trying to steal personal details by offering bogus "discounts" on phone bills. Scammers try to lure customers in by calling them and claiming they’re eligible for a 30 per cent discount off their bill.
The scammer will then send customers a text with a one-time passcode and ask that they read it back to them on the phone. O2 has confirmed this is a scam and they would never ask you to read back a one-time passcode.
The text with the passcode will come from an O2 UK number - which makes it harder to see this is a scam - as the fraudster has used the O2 website to claim you have forgotten the customer’s login details.
The fraudster will then use the passcode you’ve given them over the phone to gain access to your account. Customers should be aware that if the scammer gets hold of this code, they may be able to order a new phone in your name.
Customers have been warned they would end up being charged for the device until it is reported as fraud, which runs the risk that by that point, the fraudster has the handset.
Liam Rawsthorne, Head of Fraud at Virgin Media O2 said: “At Virgin Media O2, we’re constantly investing to help better protect our customers from scams but unfortunately, we know that full-time fraudsters are always looking for new ways to target our customers.
“If you receive a call offering a deal or significant discount on your mobile contract that sounds too good to be true, it probably is – so taking a moment to pause is always the best course of action.
“Our staff will never pressure you into accepting a deal right then and there or call you to ask for your one-time passcode over the phone so never share it with an unexpected caller, no matter how legitimate they seem.
“When in doubt, always clam up, hang up and call us back. Our offers will never have a five-minute time limit, so you won’t miss out on any genuine deals – but you might just swerve the scammers.”
What to do if you think you’ve been scammed
If you think you have been called by a scammer, never give out your personal details. End the call immediately and contact the place from which you’re supposedly being called from.
If you think a scammer has got hold of your bank details, contact your bank straight away. You should also change any passwords that may have been compromised.
Report the scam to Action Fraud by calling 0300 123 2040, or through the Action Fraud website.