I’m working from home today and I just received a phone call on my land line. Not in itself unusual, but the call was…
The number that was calling me was 030811111110 , when I answered the call it immediately connected to an outbound ringback service, so I heard the ringing tone as if I had initiated the call.
That strange connection method had raised my suspicions, so when the call was picked up at the far end, I answered just with “Hello?”. A gentleman with a foreign sounding accent responded with “Hello? Hello?” and hung up.
I am not alone in being concerned by this activity and it seems extremely probable that this is a telephone based social engineering scam. People calling from this number have posed variously as offering better utility deals, better broadband deals, to be able to reduce business tax rates or to enquire whether you have received your copy of a free local newspaper.
Having since spoken with BT, the telephone number that is displayed as being the caller is a spoofed one, so there is no way to trace the origin of these calls. As BT are currrently not legally allowed to block incoming calls from foreign shores, in the meantime I strongly advise you to ignore all calls from this telephone number and in general to be very careful about information you give out to people that you do not know whether that be on the telephone, social networking sites, email or any other medium.
Although in this case, the Telephone Preference Service was not a deterrent to these calls as they originate from overseas companies who do not abide by UK law, I would still highly recommend registering with them as an efective means of cutting down on unwanted Direct Marketing call that originate within the UK.
One good thing though, calls like this do tend to bring out the best from many people when it comes to humourous responses