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News.

10 Jun 2022

Phoney BT email asks you to change your direct debit details

Scammers impersonate BT to steal your bank details

This sneaky scam email uses genuine BT links and urgent calls to action to pressure you into handing over your bank details.

Find out how to identify, avoid and report this scam email. 

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BT Direct Debit email scam

The email begins with ‘Avoid missing payments’ to get your attention. It then goes on to say ‘We wanted to let you know that your Direct Debit with us is no longer active. This means you don't currently have an automatic payment method set up to deal with your bills.'

Underneath this statement there’s a link that directs you to a fake website to set up a new direct debit - this is where your personal and financial details will be taken, so don’t click on this.

Extra pressure is added with the threat of being ‘charged a late payment fee’ if you don’t click on the link. 

Fake BT direct debit email
Fake BT direct debit email

The email has BT’s recognisable branding, using its colour scheme and logo. It uses BT’s genuine phone number and address, as well as links to the company’s online scam advice, privacy policy and terms and conditions - a bold move from the scammers, and one that makes it even more difficult to spot the scam.

We shared this scam email with BT and a spokesperson said: 'We advise our customers to remain vigilant against potential scams, especially phishing emails. If you are suspicious or uncomfortable with an email appearing to be from BT, please contact our customer service team for support.' 

How to spot fake emails

Checking the small details is the only way to spot this scam email. 

In this email, the recipient was able to tell it was fraudulent due to the account number being wrong.

Another giveaway is the email of the sender [info44269@internetbillingsystem.com]. This email address doesn’t belong to BT, and it’s unlikely to belong to legitimate businesses either.

The email also includes some odd wording towards the end, which is a big red flag. It says: ‘Next bill due soon? Please pay another way. Just to note, if your next bill is due before the new Direct Debit is set up, you'll need to pay using the My Vodafone app or by calling 56677 free from your Vodafone mobile.’ 

An email claiming to be from BT with details of how to pay your bill via Vodafone is a clear giveaway. The recipient of this fake email also didn’t have an account with Vodafone, which helped verify that this was a scam.

If you receive an email like this and you think it could be genuine, you should visit the company’s genuine website and check your online account, as any issues with your direct debit should be communicated there. If you’re still unsure, phone your account provider using a customer number taken from its website and verify the details with them.

Read more on how to spot an email scam to stay ahead of the scammers.  

Reporting scam emails

Don’t be tempted to click on any links or reply to these emails. 

Report any dodgy emails to report@phishing.gov.uk. In this particular case, you can report the BT email to abuse@bt.com

Once you've reported the email you can flag it as 'spam' in your inbox so that your email provider learns to filter messages like these out of your email inbox. Find out more on how to mark emails as spam

Have you spotted a new scam? Help our scams research by sharing the details with us using our scam sharer tool