The Internet Speed Scam

If you receive a telephone call suggesting your internet is running slow, be warned! We are pretty certain you are unlikely to fall for this, (we know somebody who did, hence this post) however it’s worth a read so you can inform vulnerable friends or relatives.

The Call…

We recently heard from an elderly lady who had received a telephone call from an opportunist claiming to be from BT Internet. This is a genuine transcript. We have not used the ladies name.


Fake BT. Hello is that Mrs X
Mrs X. Yes thats me.
Fake BT. Hello Mrs X, I am calling from BT, we have received reports via our monitoring systems that your internet connection has been running very slowly.
Mrs X. Well that is a coincidence, my internet connection has been running very badly for the last few weeks.
Fake BT.  Ah well there you go Mrs X, I can definitely help you with that, I just need to make a remote connection to your computer and we can resolve this for you.
Mrs X is then talked through a process to allow Fake BT a remote connection to her Mac.
Once connected, Fake BT directs the computer to a fake website that is a mockup of an internet speed test result where the speed is terrible.

Its a Miracle?

Fake BT.  Well Mrs X, you are clearly correct, it is running very slowly.
If I can put you on hold for a few moments I can restore your speed back to it’s correct level.
Mrs X. Ok Thank you very much.
Fake BT now puts Mrs X on hold and literally does nothing for 5 minutes.
Fake BT. Hello Mrs X, I have resurrected the problem, I am just going to run another speed test.
Mrs X. Ok Thank you.
Fake BT directs the computer to a genuine internet speed test website and runs the test. Magically the speed is now running at 75mb and Mrs X has no idea what just happened (apart from the fact that she thinks her internet speed has gone up 73mb!).

What's the Point?

Now you may be thinking “What was all that about” but this is where the actual scam starts.
Fake BT has got Mrs X’s trust.

Fake BT. There you go, how’s that Mrs X?
Mrs X. Oh my word, that is amazing.
Fake BT. If you hold on for a moment I am going to speak to my manager, I am pretty certain I should be able to get you some compensation for the time you have been receiving a poor service, do you mind if I just put you on hold?
Mrs X. Gosh that would be amazing, you are very kind.
Fake BT Does literally nothing for another 5 minutes.
Fake BT. Hello Mrs X, I have spoken to my manager and we can deposit £249.80 compensation into your bank account right now. If you can log into your online banking I will give you the details of how to get the money straight in your bank.

The Outcome

Now at this point most peoples alarm bells would have gone off but not Mrs X. She signed into her online banking.
Fake BT then talked Mrs X through adding a new payee (yes payee) to her online banking.
The minute the new payee was added Fake BT blacked out the screen on Mrs X’s computer so she could not see what was going on and put down the phone.
He then directed a payment of £4000 into their own bank account!

Now luckily this story does have a happy end as Mrs X’s bank fraud department intercepted this suspicious activity and the money was refunded but others may not have been so fortunate. We have heard similar stories from callers claiming to be from Microsoft Hotmail support then requiring £150 by credit card to unblock the users email account.

If you found this post useful please comment & share.
Matthew Goddard
1 Comment
  • Cliff Addison
    Posted at 15:42h, 05 September Reply

    I got to your web-page because earlier today I spent 15 minutes talking to someone claiming to be from British Telecomms (a red flag event because we are not a BT customer and I think they would use BT on any call) with the spiel mentioned above- “We’ve observed your broadband speed isn’t what it should be” and he’s calling to try to help improve the speed. He asked me to run a speed test of my choice, which I did using the standard test from Google on my mobile via wi-fi and reported an upload speed of 12Mbps and upload of 0.85 Mbps. I then said (and repeated this many times) that our subscription is for an ADSL service with at most 15 Mbps download and 1 Mbps upload. That was ignored. He insisted that the speed should be faster and asked if I could try this on PC. I obliged since our PC has a direct Ethernet to the router. I reported 13 Mbps download and 0.9 Mbps upload. He then asked if I could go onto Google to go to a site to get an upload package that would improve my upload to half of my download speed. I dithered some more saying we were getting the speed we were paying for. He kept insisting on going to Google. By this time I was fed up so I just stated that I thought this was a spam call and hung up. Clearly they are playing on many people not knowing their broadband is asymmetric and upload is slow, but he did not have a good script to work from!!

Post A Comment