I might as well post the whole email, if you have an hour or two spare to read it.
Important information about scam calls and emails
I wish to give you a further update to the information we gave you in December on scam calls and emails you may have received, or may receive in the future.
At TalkTalk we take your security very seriously and we take numerous measures to help keep our customers safe, especially from scam and nuisance calls. Yet sadly in every sector, including banking and with organisations like HMRC, more and more people are being targeted by phone and email scams – these are run by serious criminal organisations who target people to get bank or credit card details to steal money.
- TalkTalk will NEVER call customers and use an account number to identify you or prove that the call is genuine.
- TalkTalk will NEVER call customers and ask them to provide bank details unless we have already had specific permission from you to do so.
- TalkTalk will NEVER call you and ask you to download software onto your computer, unless you have previously contacted TalkTalk, discussed and agreed a call back for this to take place.
- TalkTalk will NEVER send you emails asking you to provide your full password. We will only ever ask two digits from it to protect your security.
For more information please read our Scam Calls and Emails Guide online at talktalk.co.uk/scam-phone-calls
At the end of last year, we saw an increase in the number of cases of malicious scammers claiming to be from TalkTalk preying on our customers. In a small number of cases, customers told us that the criminals were quoting their TalkTalk account number as well as their phone number.
As part of our ongoing approach to security, we constantly test our systems and processes using external security specialists. Following further investigation into these reports, we have now become aware that some of the information we have about some customers – their name, home address, phone number and TalkTalk account number – could have been illegally accessed in violation of our security procedures by malicious scammers.
Please rest assured that your sensitive information of date of birth, bank, or credit card details have not been illegally accessed.
We believe that in some cases the malicious individuals who have been targeting our customers are trying to trick people into thinking they are genuine TalkTalk callers. We know that unfortunately a small number of customers may have revealed more detailed information, such as their bank details. In some of these cases we know they may be using the information they have illegally obtained.
We always want to be open and honest with our customers, which is why we wanted to update you on these rogue activities, which are on the increase more generally. We have taken urgent and serious steps, and in the meantime we would please ask that you take extra care when anyone rings or emails you claiming to be from TalkTalk, or indeed any other organisation, asking for personal details.
Privacy features as standard
Preventing all scam and nuisance calls is a high priority for us. We are doing everything possible to prevent this from happening again, and to protect you from all malicious and nuisance calls. We have a range of privacy features that come as standard, just for our customers, including our unique HomeSafe nuisance call reporting service. TalkTalk is the only provider to offer all these for free.
In some cases we are able to block certain callers, including those from these criminal organisations, from ringing customers on our network, if they’ve breached a strict set of criteria. You can also block your number from receiving unsolicited sales calls by registering with the Telephone Preference Service.
Find out how you can activate privacy features online at help2.talktalk.co.uk/how-do-i-manage-nuisance-calls
Letting us know
Unfortunately it is not only our customers who are being targeted by scammers. We have told the Information Commissioner’s Office and we are liaising with them and other official bodies, because this is affecting all sectors.
We post regular security updates on our website and customer forums so there is no need for you to call us. More information about protecting yourself against scammers, and how to report suspicious calls claiming to be from TalkTalk asking for your bank account details, or for access to your computer, can be found on our website at talktalk.co.uk\phonescams
We also wish to offer our apologies for any inconvenience that you may have experienced as a result of these malicious scams.
Managing Director, Consumer