Scammers claiming to be from BT hijack vulnerable woman's phone and tablet
PUBLISHED: 12:31 11 September 2019 | UPDATED: 15:58 12 September 2019
Avon and Somerset Police
Scammers hijacked a vulnerable woman's mobile phone and tablet in an attempt to gain access to her bank account.
Marian Chisholm has a degenerative brain condition which means she has the cognitive function of someone in their 80s.
The scammers, claiming to be from BT, told Mrs Chisholm she had a problem with her internet connection.
Mrs Chisholm said: "I know not to give out any information, so I told them they wouldn't get any details from me.
"But the woman who called me said she wasn't going to ask for any information.
"She sounded a lot like someone from BT.
"It all happened really quickly, I couldn't keep up"
The scammer then convinced her to install Quick Support team viewer software on her mobile phone and tablet, which they then used to take control of her devices and set up internet banking apps in an attempt to empty her account.
Mrs Chisholm became aware of the attempted theft when she received an email from the bank telling her she had set up an internet banking app on her phone.
She said: "I have never wanted internet banking because I couldn't deal with it, and I don't think it is safe.
Mrs Chisholm's son eventually intervened, taking the phone from his mother and abruptly hanging up.
However, the damage has been done.
Mrs Chisholm added: "I had to spend three hours at the bank sorting it all out.
"I just hope my story stops this happening to anyone else."
A spokesman from fraud prevention group, Action Fraud said: "The criminals behind this type of fraud are devious, ruthless and inventive.
"They rely on people's honesty or use bullying and high-pressure tactics.
"Fraudsters can claim to be from the police, or your bank's fraud investigation team, or service providers like BT.
Action fraud also gave the following advice to spot a scammer: "The caller doesn't give you time to think, attempt to stop you speaking to anyone else, and are incredibly insistent and threatening. They also request things a genuine caller wouldn't such as to transfer money to a new account or ask for your card PIN or online banking password."