TalkTalk Phone Scam – how to block calls


Last year we got a call from someone claiming to be from TalkTalk’s technical team to tell us that there was a problem with our broadband. All we had to do was download a bit of software from an address they would give us and it would all be sorted.

Yeah, right.

What was unusual for such a scam was that they knew our name and account number. This was obviously some sort of data breach, but despite a lot of noise on the internet, it took TalkTalk until February to own up to the fact that its security had been compromised.

This month the scammers have been back again, with silent calls every day from 0019896532555, or with messages left on the voicemail.

On reporting it to TalkTalk I got directed to this page. This is a classic of the ‘TLDR’ genre – you fill it full of heavy, small print text, reduce the colour and the illustrations, and put the significant information towards the foot of the page (1573 words in) because customers will have lost the will to read much beyond the first couple of paragraphs. This is shoddy behaviour and displays a poor approach to crisis management – because that’s what a data breach like this is, a crisis to your company’s reputation.

If you receive a scam call you can block it. There’s a page about it here – but even that is out of date. If you are a TalkTalk customer who wants to block calls, log into your account, hover over ‘extras + offers’ in the top menu, then click on ‘view home phone boosts’. The call barring feature is within the ‘privacy features’. Click on the check box next to it and then click ‘update’ then ‘confirm’. Once it’s been activated you’ll need to go here to find out how to use it.

The fact that TalkTalk aren’t properly publicising this feature again shows a very poor attitude to customer service, a fact emphasised by their coming second bottom in MoneySavingExpert’s survey of broadband and home phone provider rankings.