Tuesday, June 07, 2022

Dealing with fraudulent calls

I seem to be getting a lot of SPAM and fraudulent telephone calls at the moment.

I have, however, found an almost instant way of dealing with fraudulent calls purporting to be from my own employer (or any other part of the BT group.)

This was the exchange this morning:


"I'm calling from BT Openreach about your internet connection."

Me: (keeping my voice calm and friendly in case of the hundred-to-one chance that the caller was telling the truth) 

"OK, so that I can verify that, can I please have your nine - digit EIN?"

Dead line: (fraudster having instantly hung up)


It is slightly easier for me to use this tactic than it would be for someone who wasn't actually an employee of the company the fraudster was claiming to be from - all employees of the BT group have a unique nine-digit Employee Identification Number of EIN, sometimes alternatively referred to as a UIN (for Unique Identification Number.) If it had been a genuine call from Openreach it would have only taken me a few seconds to check whether any number quoted by the caller existed and matched the name they had given me.

I have used this tactic at least half a dozen times to check the validity of a caller claiming to be from Openreach or another part of the BT group, and if they are not genuine, they always hang up, usually instantly. 

This does not seem to apply only to fraudsters impersonating someone from BT. It is worth knowing that many fraudsters will instantly hang up if you ask them for a verification code or piece of information which they would know if they were genuinely who they are pretending to be. 

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