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Possible Unauthorised Sharing of Phone Numbers by Plusnet?

uj8isle5
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Registered: ‎03-04-2023

Possible Unauthorised Sharing of Phone Numbers by Plusnet?

Title: Possible Unauthorised Sharing of Phone Numbers by Plusnet

Hi all,

I'm concerned about possible unauthorised sharing of phone numbers by Plusnet. Before signing up for their service, my mother and I rarely received scam calls. However, since signing up, we've both been receiving them almost daily.

To add to my suspicion, I used a burner phone with very little prior use to sign up for the Plusnet service. It seems unlikely that scammers would have obtained my number so quickly unless it was obtained through Plusnet's records.

Has anyone else had similar experiences with Plusnet?

14 REPLIES 14
MisterW
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Re: Possible Unauthorised Sharing of Phone Numbers by Plusnet?

Is this mobile ? and did you get a new number or port your existing one ?

Superusers are not staff, but they do have a direct line of communication into the business in order to raise issues, concerns and feedback from the community.

uj8isle5
Hooked
Posts: 7
Registered: ‎03-04-2023

Re: Possible Unauthorised Sharing of Phone Numbers by Plusnet?

In my mums case it was a transfer from another service provider.

In my case I activated a Plusnet reward card. 

As I mentioned above the incident with my number was particularly suspicious because I used a burner phone number to activate the card and although I've had the number for about a year, it's only been used a few times for personal calls. The only time that number has been entered into any online forms (other than Lebara when registering the account about a year ago) was yesterday when activating a plusnet reward card. Then today it received it's first scam call.

edit: both are mobile numbers.

jab1
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Re: Possible Unauthorised Sharing of Phone Numbers by Plusnet?

Sorry to butt in, but a couple of questions - (1) did your mum get the spam call on her land line, or a mobile? (2) was the same number used for both transactions?

I suspect this is just an unfortunate coincidence, otherwise there would be many more complaints of a similar nature.

John
uj8isle5
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Registered: ‎03-04-2023

Re: Possible Unauthorised Sharing of Phone Numbers by Plusnet?

My mum has been receiving scam calls to both her landline and mobile. But really only since joining plusnet. She signed up to both mobile and broadband, so plusnet have access to both numbers.
We don't notice the ones to her landline anymore because we have bought a blocking phone. We have set her mobile phone to filter unknown callers, so the phone doesn't ring, but they still go through to answering machine. So we know she's still getting them, about one per day.

 

Granted, it could be a coincidence, but the timing of the onslaught of scam calls to my mum, was so particular, that I was very suspicious of plusnet since then. This is why I used a burner phone in my case. So while I agree it's not conclusive, for me to start receiving scam calls so quickly after giving my number to plusnet again has increased my suspicions.

As to why she is being targeted. She is old. Nearly 90 and naively I included her birth year in the email address I used to sign her up. I suspect phone numbers of older people are more valuable to scammers.

jab1
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Re: Possible Unauthorised Sharing of Phone Numbers by Plusnet?

I'm still not convinced this is not pure coincidence - as I said previously, if there were large numbers of people reporting this it may be possible, although I doubt it, but there aren't. In any case, spam callers rarely, if ever, actually 'dial' a number - they use random number diallers, or auto-diallers.

I am tempted to leave further comments on this to @MisterW , but I am still convinced it is pure coincidence.

John
uj8isle5
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Re: Possible Unauthorised Sharing of Phone Numbers by Plusnet?

I think we can rule out random number dialing for my mums calls. She gets called from the same roboscammer (same recorded voice message) every day. So it seems really unlikely that the same scammers would randomly hit my mums number daily and not occasionally hit mine, for example.

jab1
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Re: Possible Unauthorised Sharing of Phone Numbers by Plusnet?

The 'robo-callers' tend to use the same recording, so it will sound the same. Have you checked the purported CLID for these calls?

I get very few spam calls these days, although I used to get a lot, until I ignored any number I didn't recognise, now I get maybe one or two every 50-60 days.

John
uj8isle5
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Re: Possible Unauthorised Sharing of Phone Numbers by Plusnet?

What's CLID? Is that the number they are calling from?


If the callers are random, why would you ignoring them decrease their frequency?

jab1
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Re: Possible Unauthorised Sharing of Phone Numbers by Plusnet?

Yes, CLID is the number they claim to be calling from, but it could be spoofed/bogus.

I'm making an educated guess in reply to the second question, but I suspect the dialling technology the spam-artists use 'learns' to skip numbers which don't get answered - it took about three months for them to slow to the trickle I now get, which don't get picked up anyway.

John
uj8isle5
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Re: Possible Unauthorised Sharing of Phone Numbers by Plusnet?

Yeah, the CLID is different every call. If only it wasn't, it would be a much easier problem to solve.

I'm sure there is a species of scam calls that are entirely randomly dialled, but I can't believe the calls my mum are getting are random. If they were you'd expect the calls to be distributed roughly equally among the population. As it is, I get maybe one every few years, my mum gets 1 a day for the last 3 years+. Thats a ratio of >1000:1. That can't be random.

jab1
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Re: Possible Unauthorised Sharing of Phone Numbers by Plusnet?

Does your mum pick up time though? As I said, until I'd done a bit of research on the subject, I tended to answer all  calls, so they knew there would be a response - even if I immediately put the phone down when the nature of the call became obvious, but once I ignored them, the frequency started to reduce.

As I now only use the mobile for calls (send and receive) the land line is extremely quiet.

A suggestion - unless you/your mum are/is expecting a call from an unknown number, ignore it - if it is a genuine caller they should leave a message asking you to call back, if they terminate as soon as the answering machine cuts in, ignore them.

John
MisterW
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Re: Possible Unauthorised Sharing of Phone Numbers by Plusnet?

My jnitial  thought was that it was a plusnet reused mobile no, but that is obviously not the case. I agree that it does seem a bit coincidental but as @jab1 says if it were PN  sharing numbers it would be much more widespread

Superusers are not staff, but they do have a direct line of communication into the business in order to raise issues, concerns and feedback from the community.

uj8isle5
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Registered: ‎03-04-2023

Re: Possible Unauthorised Sharing of Phone Numbers by Plusnet?

We've set both her phones to ignore/divert any unknown calls for a long time. So she hasn't answered any of these calls in a years. It's the worst case I've heard of. I can't possibly imagine what the scammers are getting out of it. It must come at zero cost to them so they are just letting it run. 

jab1
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Re: Possible Unauthorised Sharing of Phone Numbers by Plusnet?

That does seem strange, if she is still getting them in volume. I can't explain it, and you are the first person I've heard in a long time raising this. Are her numbers 'unique' in any way - like for instance '01234 567890'?

John