BT join Redbridge police in investigating suspected phone scam

Residents in Pelham Road were hit with around £250 bills each.

Residents in Pelham Road were hit with around £250 bills each.

First published in News East London and West Essex Guardian Series: Photograph of the Author by , Reporter

British Telecom is working with police to find out what happened after a suspected phone scam left six households on a street with bills of around £250 each.

People living in Pelham Road, South Woodford, received bills, on the morning of April 19, including calls to places a far afield as Guinea Bissau and Bosnia and Herzegovina.

A spokesman for BT confirmed it was working with police to identify what had happened and advised customers to contact them if they see any irregularities in their bills.

He said: “Scams and incidents like this are taken extremely seriously and we work extensively with our industry partners and the police to eliminate them.

“We will continue to work with the police on this particular case so that the people responsible are brought to justice.

“Our advice to any customer who has unexpected charges on their bill from numbers that they have not called is to contact their phone supplier to report what has happened."

Brian Phipps, 67, received a bill of around £200 from British Telecom, and is worried it could happen again.

He said: “We have received no guarantee that we will not see a repeat of this so it is worrying.

"I was not alerted to it happening, I was lucky we have a network here and [neighbour] Nathan contacted me.

“I checked my bills and couldn’t believe it, I just wondered what was going on really.

"I was pretty sure I wouldn’t have to pay the money as it was clearly not me."

Comments (4)

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1:48pm Thu 15 May 14

T. Watts says...

...looks like they've got away with it...
...looks like they've got away with it... T. Watts
  • Score: -6

3:07pm Thu 15 May 14

digitalpardoe says...

This happened to me too, living on the High Road though. Same date, same countries - phone & internet provided by Plusnet.
This happened to me too, living on the High Road though. Same date, same countries - phone & internet provided by Plusnet. digitalpardoe
  • Score: 2

4:58pm Thu 15 May 14

spcdust says...

All phone / broadband providers use, to some extent, the BT network for phone and broadband. It's only when your line reaches the local exchange that it is then connected to another providers network - know as Local Loop Unbundling (LLU). Even then only BT engineers are allowed to actually complete this work. Many people complain at the length of time it takes to switch providers - you can blame BT Open Reach who complete this work as they are over stretched and the whole lines of communication between them other relevant BT Departments and ultimately your individual provider is rather convoluted. The only exception to this is Virgin Media who have their own infrastructure / network.
All phone / broadband providers use, to some extent, the BT network for phone and broadband. It's only when your line reaches the local exchange that it is then connected to another providers network - know as Local Loop Unbundling (LLU). Even then only BT engineers are allowed to actually complete this work. Many people complain at the length of time it takes to switch providers - you can blame BT Open Reach who complete this work as they are over stretched and the whole lines of communication between them other relevant BT Departments and ultimately your individual provider is rather convoluted. The only exception to this is Virgin Media who have their own infrastructure / network. spcdust
  • Score: 2

11:32am Tue 20 May 14

DBlower says...

This has happened to us - 20th/21st of April. Kingspark Court, South Woodford - £125.58 via seven calls to Guinea B'sau. BT calling me back tonight.
This has happened to us - 20th/21st of April. Kingspark Court, South Woodford - £125.58 via seven calls to Guinea B'sau. BT calling me back tonight. DBlower
  • Score: 0

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