Swerve the scammers with Virgin Media O2

Virgin Media O2 signage
Virgin Media O2
Natalie Clarkson
by Natalie Clarkson
17 October 2022

More than half of UK adults think they’ll never fall for a scam – despite 43% of people knowing someone who has, according to research from Virgin Media O2.  

The research comes as more people than ever are falling for scams online. Liam Rawsthorne, head of fraud at Virgin Media O2, said: “It’s worrying that so many people think it’ll never happen to them and aren’t taking their security as seriously as they should. 

“Using their victim’s personal information, fraudsters will try to empty bank accounts, rack up thousands of pounds of debt and take out mobile phone contracts – before disappearing and leaving a trail of destruction in their wake. 

“With fraud on the rise and scammers using increasingly sophisticated tricks to defraud victims, anyone can become a victim so it’s more important than ever that people know how to stay safe.” 

Virgin Media O2 has shared some top tips to help people avoid falling for scams. Here are some of them: 

1. Think before you click that link

If you’ve received a message about an unexpected parcel, or a text about a ‘£400 energy rebate payment’ that will be in your bank in minutes, chances are it’s a scam. 

Remember to be careful before opening or clicking any links in messages or emails from unknown contacts. While receiving the message won’t harm you in any way, it can be dangerous if you interact with it.  

So if you’re at all suspicious about an email, text or call, get in touch with your mobile provider. If you’re in the UK,be sure to report any phishing attempts by forwarding the message to 7226 for free. 

2. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is

A common scam involves calling customers, claiming to be from their mobile operator, and offering exciting deals to reward their loyalty. The ‘limited time offer’ will be something that’s just too good to say no to – but not implausibly cheap – and the caller will tell you they just need to verify some of your details. Unfortunately, the real reason they’re taking these details is to use them to try and place online orders in your name.  The team at Virgin Media O2 advises people to: 

  • CLAM UP: Stop talking – don’t confirm any of your details or share any one-time passcodes. Fraudsters need information from you to complete their scam so the less you say the better. 

  • HANG UP: Put the phone down – fraudsters want you to do something urgently without having time to think. 

  • CALL BACK: Call your bank, mobile operator or service provider directly to verify the call and help keep your accounts safe. 

3. Keep bank details secure

Virgin Media O2 will never call customers, message them via social media, or send a text message to ask for bank details. If you’re asked for this information out of the blue, don’t give any details. Instead, disconnect the call or end the chat and if you’re in the UK report the incident to Action Fraud, then call your provider straightaway using the phone number on their website. 

If you take a call claiming to be from your bank, telling you that you’ve been a victim of fraud, hang up and get in touch with your bank on your own terms. 

Visit Virgin Media O2’s Swerve the Scammers site, for plenty more tips and great advice to help you avoid scams. 

Virgin.com is also playing its part in helping people to avoid scams. With Richard Branson’s image often appearing on false websites, Virgin.com produced a video animation to help people understand how to spot scams online. If you spot a scam involving Richard Branson or the Virgin brand, please report it at virgin.com/report-a-scam.