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Chilling mobile discount scam nearly cost me thousands – watch out for it

A HEFTY 30 percent discount off your phone bill sounds very appealing, especially in the midst of a cost of living crisis.

But as the old saying goes, if it sounds too good to be true, it’s probably not.

Scammers are always trying clever new tricks

Scammers are always trying clever new tricksCredit: Getty

Yet fraudsters are out in force preying on people at the worst time possible.

These unscrupulous scammers don’t need you to read out your bank details to raid your account these days.

We reveal one of the many types of scams doing the rounds at the moment, so be sure to listen to the audio above and familiarise yourself in case they call you next.

And if they do, hang up immediately.

Don’t share the code

In this particular scam, you’re approached by someone claiming to be a representative from your network offering a discount.

All you need to do is give them a code they say will be text to you.

‘What harm could a code do?’ you may ask.

Well, this code is actually used to access your personal account on the network’s website.

You must never share this code – even with staff from your network provider.

Once they’re in, they can order a new phone in your name.

Often that device will never arrive.

If it does, you’re likely to get another call from the fraudster letting you know there is a “problem” with it and it needs to be returned to the address they give you.

But of course, at that point, you never hear from them again, are without a device that potentially cost thousands and out of pocket.

The call I received claimed to be from O2, which is my network.

These scammers don’t actually know your network, they just chance it with any company name (after all, there aren’t that many so one of them is bound to be correct eventually).

Fortunately, if you receive the code, your network should say very clearly not to share the code, even with their own staff.

This is not to be ignored, so don’t let the person on the phone convince you otherwise.

Liam Rawsthorne, Head of Fraud at Virgin Media O2, told The Sun: “We take the security of our customers extremely seriously, which is why we introduced an extra level of security by issuing a pre-SMS warning that is sent before a One Time Authorisation Code is sent to a customer’s device.

“O2 will never call and ask for a one-time code to be given out over the phone.”

Advice on to avoid falling victim to a scam

Virgin Media O2 has shared a useful trick if you get a suspicious call: clam up, hang up and call back.

  • Clam up: Stop talking and don’t share your code or confirm any of your details. Fraudsters need information from you to complete their scam so the less you say the better.
  • Hang up: Put the phone down – fraudsters often try to get you to do something urgently without having time to think about it.
  • Call back: Call your network directly to verify the call, and help keep your account safe.

Rawsthorne continued: “If any customers receive a call unexpectedly from someone claiming to be from O2 and asking to be given a one-time code that has been sent to the customer’s device, they do not work for O2 so we’d urge the customer to hang up immediately and call us on 202 so we can protect their account.

“With fraud on the rise and scammers using increasingly sophisticated tricks to defraud people, anyone can become a victim so it’s more important than ever that people know how to stay safe – check our hints and tips webpage for more at news.virginmediao2.co.uk/fraud.”

Code text will look something like this - but don't share it

Code text will look something like this – but don’t share itCredit: Virgin Media O2

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