Virgin Media customers have been warned to be on their guard following a mailshot scam which saw one Portsmouth man conned out of thousands of pounds by fraudsters posing as Virgin staff.
The issue began when the man received a letter claiming to be from Virgin Media which said the company had spotted suspicious activity on his Virgin account.
It is not known how the scammers got hold of the customer’s personal data to send the letter or how much detail was included in it.
However, the missive was then followed up by a phone call from a “contact centre agent” with a “strong accent”, also claiming to be from Virgin Media, who told the customer his account had been targeted by fraudsters.
The agent then managed to gain access to the customer’s computer – under the guise he was carrying out a security check – and steal access to his victim’s bank details.
The customer later discovered that £27,000 had been stolen from his bank account.
The man reported the incident to Hampshire police, who are advising Virgin customers to be on their guard.
Action Fraud issues regular warnings to consumers with package TV subscriptions, including customers of Virgin Media, Sky and BT, yet these scams are mostly carried out through cold calls. The fact that this customer received a mailshot is worrying, according to one industry source.
She said: “We are all used to receiving scam phone calls, but the fact that these fraudsters targeted the victim through the post first raises a number of data security issues. For instance, where did they get the man’s details? Was this just a one-off or part of a wider, more sophisticated attack?”
According to the latest figures, more than £190,000 a day is lost in the UK by victims of cyber-crime. More than a third of victims in that period fell prey to the hacking of social media and email accounts.
Action Fraud said £34.6m was reported to be stolen from victims between April and September 2018, a 24% increase on the previous six months.
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