Scammers posing as Virginmedia

I have some shaky info here as the person this happened to is understandably very upset so I can only offer the details I have been given over a flustered phone call.

This morning my relative received a landline call from 'Virginmedia' alerting her to criminal activity in her area concerning internet routers.
She was very confused and isn't very tech savvy, so sadly went along with it, ignoring her suspicions that something was off.
From what I can piece together the scammer kept her on the phone for 2 hours, creating fear and confusion, playing on her insecurities, asking my relative to download security apps, repeat numbers repeatedly, share her driving license info and router details, all in an effort to keep her router safe!
At some point the scammer asked her to use her mobile instead and seems to have gained remote control of the device. My relative could see her phone doing stuff 'by itself' and was asked to hold it in front of her (a photo was taken of her face).
The scammer then asks my relative can she see the photo, and yes, it turned up on her phone. She also started to receive over ten emails from a gmail account claiming to be connected to Virgin saying 'your experience is about the get even better' (the irony).

From the patchy details I have been given, it seems my relative was severely harassed during the call and made to feel very confused. The long and short of it is they managed to get 10K from her bank account - I am presuming the account connected to her Virgin direct debit. She later reported to police who told her to call fraud (in London, she said??) and went to visit her bank. During her drive to the bank her phone was switched off/not being used, when the scammer began talking to her from it (this is nearly an hour after the call ended), which frightened her to death. Why is this woman still on my relative's phone hours later, still having access of it?

We have no idea as yet if she will ever see the money again, but she is afraid of ID theft. She has been told to get a new driving license and has a new bank card coming in the post. She has also been advised to report to CIFAF (I haven't heard of them myself).
The scammer had a non English accent and claimed to be called Nancy Wilson. She told my relative that a technician called Bob Wilson would be calling tomorrow to change her router as the one she had was corrupted. My relative asked 'why, is he your husband?' to which the scammer replied 'sorry, I meant Bob Wilkinson'.

My questions:
Can they access all her bank accounts or only the one she had connected to Virgin?
What are they planning to do with her photo?
Any advice what I can tell her to do next?
And how in the name of god could this woman still be remotely controlling/accessing my relatives phone hours later?
She seems confused by the info given by the fraud dept, so I am naturally concerned. I have told her to call Virgin to report it and reset her devices.

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Comments

  • SaverRate
    SaverRate Posts: 932 Forumite
    First Anniversary First Post Name Dropper
    Had exactly the same thing happen with the in-laws! Reset their router, their affected devices, got a new bank card etc.

    Luckily they don’t do online banking so only used a money transfer app to take money from their bank account which they got back.

    Tell her to speak to Virgin regarding the connected one. In theory they shouldn’t be able to access any other bank accounts but depends how they got access (maybe it wasn’t via the virgin account?)

    Not sure how they are controlling the phone still unless you still need to reset it?

    I don’t think they will do much with her photo especially now the bank are aware of the fraud. 
    FTB - April 2020 
  • Silvertabby
    Silvertabby Posts: 9,018 Forumite
    First Anniversary Name Dropper Photogenic First Post
    edited 8 April 2022 at 11:00PM
    B*st*rds.  If they got remote access to your relative's computer then they could possibly try to get at their other accounts.  I would speak to all of them to alert them to a possible problem and change all passwords.
    Would also recommend that you get someone to sanitise the computer and phone, as they may have downloaded some form of a trojan horse.
    Mr S got this a while ago, a call from 'your internet provider', who's accent didn't tally with his English sounding name.  Mr S had a whale of a time winding them up, before they finally clicked and hung up on him.  That was 20 minutes that this berk couldn't spend trying to con someone else.  But, sadly, there are so  many people out there who just aren't tech savvy enough....
  • [Deleted User]
    [Deleted User] Posts: 35,242 Forumite
    First Anniversary Photogenic Name Dropper First Post
    edited 8 April 2022 at 9:32PM


    My questions:
    Can they access all her bank accounts or only the one she had connected to Virgin?
    What are they planning to do with her photo?
    Any advice what I can tell her to do next?
    And how in the name of god could this woman still be remotely controlling/accessing my relatives phone hours later?





    A) They can only access accounts she gave them access to.

     B. ) They could conceivably use the photo to open accounts where photo ID is needed, but most scammers don't go to that effort.

    C) Contact any bank she gave them details to 

    D) They weren't accessing her phone in the name of any god if she'd switched off her phone.  If she'd already granted then access and not switched her phone off, then they would still be connected.
  • elsien
    elsien Posts: 32,707 Forumite
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    edited 8 April 2022 at 9:36PM
    The photo may have been facial recognition to open the new account for her to send her money to. Last time I opened an online account they needed me to take a selfie as part of the process. 

    Its CIFAS, not CIFAF. 
    If she has a fraud marker it means that extra checks will be requested if anyone tries to open something in her name. 
    All shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of things shall be well.

    Pedant alert - it's could have, not could of.
  • Thank you for replying.
    I was honestly hoping some of this was a mistake.
    I didn't know scammers would take photo's to open accounts. This is devastating.

    Some things I am still confused about -
    She says the woman kept her on phone for 3 hours. Then she ended call asking the woman to leave her alone. She then drove to the bank 10 mins away and reported it, but says the 10K had already gone. Meanwhile the scammer is still demanding she talks in her car! The scammer asked her odd questions, like did she shop at amazon, was she using her loudspeaker.
    The bank told her they had attempted to take a further £900 but they thankfully stopped that.

    So it must have happened quickly. Relative says the scammer showed her an app with 10k moving into 'her account' and freaked out. Scammer told her this was a test and that it was money they were giving her.

    A number of apps appeared on her phone later, one for a bank called Revolut. I googled this and can't see how it connects to someone posting as Virgin.

    I can't understand why she did this, she is very shrewd and paranoid about scammers, I can't see how the call even got to this stage.
    Apologies, my head is spinning and I'm just very, very perplexed.

    She won't get the money back, will she?
  • elsien
    elsien Posts: 32,707 Forumite
    Name Dropper Photogenic First Anniversary First Post
    All shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of things shall be well.

    Pedant alert - it's could have, not could of.
  • elsien said:
    Really appreciate that, thank you! Her bank is one of those signed up to the scheme so this is good to hear at the moment.

    For anyone else reading who may experience this I have a link to the very same scam (imitating virgin) here.
  • p00hsticks
    p00hsticks Posts: 12,801 Forumite
    First Post Name Dropper Photogenic First Anniversary

    she is very shrewd and paranoid about scammers,

    I'm afraid you have to accept from this that she isn't - I'm very sorry about what happened to her, but scam calls about criminal activity on internet routers are old hat.


  • My questions:
    Can they access all her bank accounts or only the one she had connected to Virgin?
    What are they planning to do with her photo?
    Any advice what I can tell her to do next?
    And how in the name of god could this woman still be remotely controlling/accessing my relatives phone hours later?





    A) They can only access accounts she gave them access to.

     B. ) They could conceivably use the photo to open accounts where photo ID is needed, but most scammers don't go to that effort.

    C) Contact any bank she gave them details to 

    D) They weren't accessing her phone in the name of any god if she'd switched off her phone.  If she'd already granted then access and not switched her phone off, then they would still be connected.
    A bit late to this, apologies have been on phone and fairly stressed all evening.

    When you say they can only access accounts she gave them permission to - with my own ipad banking app, If I tap in my passcode to enter it, all three of my bank accounts are immediately visible. If a scammer could see this, surely they'd opt for whichever of the three that had most money in it?
    My relative has 4, I am presuming the scammer would have been able to see them all?
    I tried asking her this and wasn't getting a proper answer, she is too upset to make sense.
    I hope not, as her larger savings were in a different account to the one she uses for virgin/direct debits.

    Another thing that doesn't make sense: She says they took 10K then just as the bank were alerted they tried to take another £900. Why go back for such a small amount when there was a lot more in there?

    If anyone can enlighten me I would be very grateful x
  • p00hsticks
    p00hsticks Posts: 12,801 Forumite
    First Post Name Dropper Photogenic First Anniversary
    edited 9 April 2022 at 12:33AM


    My questions:
    Can they access all her bank accounts or only the one she had connected to Virgin?
    What are they planning to do with her photo?
    Any advice what I can tell her to do next?
    And how in the name of god could this woman still be remotely controlling/accessing my relatives phone hours later?





    A) They can only access accounts she gave them access to.

     B. ) They could conceivably use the photo to open accounts where photo ID is needed, but most scammers don't go to that effort.

    C) Contact any bank she gave them details to 

    D) They weren't accessing her phone in the name of any god if she'd switched off her phone.  If she'd already granted then access and not switched her phone off, then they would still be connected.
    A bit late to this, apologies have been on phone and fairly stressed all evening.

    When you say they can only access accounts she gave them permission to - with my own ipad banking app, If I tap in my passcode to enter it, all three of my bank accounts are immediately visible. If a scammer could see this, surely they'd opt for whichever of the three that had most money in it?
    My relative has 4, I am presuming the scammer would have been able to see them all?


    Are you using one of those open apps that let you see multiple bank accounts from a single app ?
    If a scammer could see multiple bank accounts, then I suspect they'll probably have a go at them all at some point - even if they were only given direct access to only one, then they may well have made a note of the others to use for follow up calls. Unfortunately your relative has now shown that she's vulnerable to such scams, and will be on a 'suckers' list, so she needs to be extra careful about any cold calls she receives in the near future that purport to be either from any of the banks involved or organisations such as Amazon. That's why they asked if she shopped there - it's to find another potential 'in' for a future scam call - either pretending to be from Amazon, or from one of her banks allegedly querying an Amazon transation. During the call the scammer will have been making notes on what your relative uses for potential future use. 
    If in any doubt, personally I'd get her to get in touch with the fraud department of all the  potentially accessible bank accounts, alert them to what has happened and ask them to be extra-vigilant about any out of character transactions. 
    And if she recieves any incoming calls from the bank, she needs to  be very very careful - scammers can spoof telephone numbers to look as if it is legitimately your bank calling. if in any doubt, hang up, and ring the bank youself (ideally from a different phone) using the number on their website or the back of the debit card. 
    Be mindful that if the banks decide that it is best to temporarily block her account,  ,reissue new cards etc, it may leave her without means to pay for things for a while,,,,
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