Cold-calling 02 scam artists are offering 40% plan discounts, free phone contracts for your security code

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Charlie Osborne

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Charlie Osborne, Contributor

Charlie Osborne

Charlie Osborne
Contributor

Charlie Osborne is a cybersecurity journalist and photographer who writes for ZDNet and CNET from London.

Full Bio

Posted in Zero Day

on January 14, 2022

| Topic: Security

A new 02 scam targeting customers in the United Kingdom is offering ridiculous discounts and phone plans in return for your one-time security codes. 

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To try and make it appear legitimate, James also told me I would receive a paper document in 24 to 48 hours outlining my amazing discount. I had to move quickly though and could I please give him the code. 

James wasn’t particularly happy when I called him out on the scam and tried to defend himself by saying that they are “only allowed to ask customers if they want the promotion,” but if I didn’t want it, to have a good day. 

I said I hoped he had the day he deserves, and after being called some interesting names laden with profanity, that was the end of the call. 

He was incredibly pushy and made repeat requests for the code. For those that receive this form of scam call, especially if they are vulnerable, not tech-savvy, or elderly, the immediate ping of a text message could be taken as a legitimate aspect of a carrier service call. 

The number, 028 8501 7468, has been searched numerous times since November. Reports suggest the team has also impersonated Carphone Warehouse and Three, and are offering discounts, new phone contracts, and a 100% discount on phone charges. Worth keeping an eye out for — and as always, you should never hand over these details. If in doubt, cut the call and ring your service provider directly. 

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