Just when TalkTalk finally thought it might be able to move on from the October 2015 data breach which has dogged the business ever since, it has been hit by fresh claims that customers are being targeted by an industrial-scale fraud network in India.
According to a BBC report, whistleblowers say they are among hundreds of staff hired to scam customers of the telecoms giant. The scale of the criminal operation has been detailed by the three sources, who say they were employed by two front-companies set up by a gang of professional fraudsters.
The BBC claims that as many as 60 staff work in shifts in each office, phoning TalkTalk customers and conning them into handing over their bank details.
The whistleblowers say they were given a script in which they were told to claim they were calling from TalkTalk. They say they then convinced victims to install a computer virus. A separate team would then use that virus to gain access to victims’ online banking.
While it has not been possible to independently verify their claims, the sources have given highly detailed accounts of the scammers’ tactics, which correlate very closely with previous reports of fraud targeting TalkTalk customers.
In 2011, TalkTalk outsourced some of its call-centre work to the Kolkata (Calcutta) office of Wipro, one of India’s largest IT service companies. In January 2016, three Wipro employees were arrested on suspicion of selling TalkTalk customer data.
A TalkTalk spokeswoman said: “We are aware that there are criminals targeting a number of UK and international companies, and we take our responsibility to protect our customers very seriously.
“This is why we launched our Beat The Scammers campaign, helping all our customers to keep themselves from safe from scammers no matter who they claim to be, while our network also proactively blocks over 90 million scam and nuisance calls a month.”
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