The telephone scams which appear to be run from South-East Asia have evolved into many different forms. The latest that we are hearing from our customers seem to be moving away from the usual “This is Microsoft calling”, or “this is TalkTalk” claiming to fix problems with your computer or internet. In the shop we have heard of two cases in two days of the Sky TV fake calls.
Firstly the Sky TV fake calls are not related to Sky at all. There is also no suggestion here that Sky data has been compromised. I’ll explain further down how they can find out if you have Sky TV.
Here’s How This Scam Works
You receive an unexpected telephone call from Sky (fake) and they ask if there has been any interruption in your signal or service. Suggestions such as “when you select TV on-demand does it take a while to load” or “does your Sky box appear to be slower than it used to be”.
They may ask you to remove the viewing card from your box or even ask what colour your box is. When you describe these type of things there are different directions the scam can take.
They may offer free movies for 30 days as a further convincer that they are who they say they are, or if you prefer they can pay a rebate that you are entitled to directly into your bank.
You can see where this is heading, “can you please confirm account number and sort code of bank that you currently pay your bills”, followed by something like “sorry that has rejected, give us your card details instead and we can transfer money to you directly”.
Suggestions from scammers may include lines such as “we just need to clear security to make sure that you are the account holder, can you confirm the password for your account”.
Basically it’s just a new form of the fake Microsoft scam that has been doing the rounds for years. Only there are no computers involved. Instead targeting your TV account.
So How Do They Know You Have Sky TV?
Here are some suggestions. Do you use @sky.com as your email address? If I receive an email from someone using @sky.com there is a very good chance that person has “Sky TV”.
You may have entered your details into a webform at some point which includes your name, email address and telephone number. These three pieces of info make for a very convincing scam call.
Google Maps. Got a Sky dish on the front of your house on Google maps? There’s a very good chance that you have Sky TV. Who else provides satellite TV? No rocket science required.
I make these points to underline that Sky have not lost your data due to some type of security hack. Instead you have likely left a digital paper trail at some point which scammers have ways and means of picking up on.
What To Do – Easy – Hang Up The Phone
The advice is the same as the old Microsoft scams – do not engage in conversation with any calls that you weren’t expecting. The longer they keep you on the phone, the more chances they will get to convince you that it’s genuine.