O2 warns it will ‘never do’ these 5 things as Britons lose ‘hundreds’ to scammers | Personal Finance | Finance
O2 is warning customers about specific actions “forever” to help them be more aware of whether they are being scammed.
New research from the provider shows that almost a quarter (23 per cent) of Britons have reported being scammed, and more than two in five (41 per cent) know someone else who has.
Among those who have fallen out because of a scam, 68 per cent have lost money as a result, and the average loss was £393.
Rob Orr, chief operations officer at Virgin Media O2, said: “Fraud is now a national epidemic and, with thousands of people falling victim every single day, we are committed to doing everything we can to help the UK save the scammers .”
According to O2, five things it will “never” do include:
1. Ask people to read their one-time pass code or bank details over the phone. If anyone calls asking to be sent a code to get a “bulk”, O2 advises customers to hang up because “it’s a scam”.
2. Tell people to ignore security warnings. Security warnings are there for a reason and real O2 employees won’t ask someone to ignore them.
3. Get angry if someone tries to hang up and call O2 back. If someone has any suspicions that they may be speaking to a scammer, the best thing to do is hang up and call O2 back by dialing 202 from their O2 phone.
4. Pressure someone to make a quick decision. Scammers will try to get people to act before they have a chance to think about what’s going on, so if someone hears things like ‘this is a limited one time offer’ or ‘reply to me now’, O2 says hang up.
5. Ask someone to pay to return a device to O2. According to the provider, fraudsters often try to convince victims that they have been sent the ‘wrong device’ and trick them into sending it back. O2 provides pre-paid labels for device returns only to the official O2 returns address, which is O2 Returns Centre, Communications House, North Vulcan Road, Norwich, NR66AQ. O2 said: “If you’re asked to pay for return shipping, it’s a scam.”
For those who think they have been the victim of fraud – whether it’s because they gave someone details over the phone, or clicked on a link in a suspicious text or email – there are things people can do.
Firstly, people can forward fraudulent texts to O2 for free on 7726 and the provider will look at them.
Virgin Media O2 recently teamed up with actor and documentary maker Ross Kemp to launch Crafty Lager 7726 – a new limited edition fraud fighting beer created to get the nation talking about scams and raise awareness of the phone number.
The Crafty Lager 7726 label reminds consumers not to share one-time passcodes over the phone, which 44 percent of people didn’t know. There’s also advice on how to report scary calls and texts by forwarding them to 7726 – which spells ‘SPAM’ on an alphanumeric phone keypad – on any network.
Virgin Media O2 partnered with Proper Pubthe community wet-guided operator division of Admiral Pub and Off Broadway in Hackney London to make Crafty Lager 7726 available for free for a limited time only in selected pubs across the UK.
Members of the public can order ‘7726’ at the participating pub’s bar to receive two free beers or a non-alcoholic option for themselves and a friend. The offer is limited to two drinks per pair in participating pubs only, from November 15 to November 30, while stocks last.
Participating pubs include:
- Brown Cow, 10 Halewood Road, Liverpool, L25 3PG
- Boars Head, Willow Street, Oswestry, SY11 1AF
- Miners Arms, High Street, Eston, Middlesbrough, TS6 9JD
- Gardeners Arms, Wellingborough Road, Northampton, NN1 4EB
- Titwood, 52-58 Nithsdale Road, Glasgow, Lanark, G41 2AN
- Off Broadway, 63-65 Broadway Market, London E8 4PH (not the Admiral Tavern pub).
Mr Orr said: “Awareness of common scams and tactics can help consumers cope with phone calls, so we’re arming Brits with the tips and tools they need to protect themselves. That’s why we’re proud to launch Crafty Lager 7726, which puts the best tips for staying safe in the hands of consumers, starting a national conversation.”
“We can all help by reporting malicious messages and calls to 7726. By taking a few seconds to forward them, we can investigate and shut down fraud faster and further improve our blocking technology to stop contribute to future scams.”
As well as launching Crafty Lager 7726, Virgin Media O2 has pulled together three simple steps on what to do when a scammer calls or receives a suspicious message.
O2 said: “Stop. If you get a suspicious call from someone claiming to be from O2, think about what you’re being asked to do. Does it feel right? Are you being asked for personal details or a code over the phone? If you suspect you are speaking to a scammer, the best thing to do is hang up and call us back by dialing 202 from your O2 phone.
“Send to 7726. Have you worked out that you may have spoken to or received a text from a scammer? Don’t ignore it, take a few seconds to forward to 7726 so O2 can block the number and shut down similar scams faster in the future.”
Finally, the provider urged people to inform their friends and family about the scam. He said: “By letting others know, you can help keep them safe and ensure they never get caught.”
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