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Sky TV Scam

By: Chris Nickson - Updated: 25 Jul 2017 | comments*Discuss
 
Scams Sky Tv Virgin Media Pre-recorded

Many of us use Sky to get television. It offers a much greater choice than terrestrial TV or Freeview and there’s often a much better picture, especially for those in areas where aerials don’t work well. However, if you’re a Sky subscriber, you should be aware of a scam that’s going around which could well end up stealing your identity. So far it’s only been recorded with Sky customers, but it could happen with any subscription service, like Virgin Media.

How It Works

It’s a clever, two-part scams. It begins innocently enough with you receiving a pre-recorded call asking if you’re a Sky subscriber. If you respond that you are, then the second part kicks in a week later – by which time you’ve probably forgotten all about the first call.

This time it’s a live person on the other end of the line. He’ll claim to be from the Sky billing department and claim that your subscription for the month hasn’t been paid, and that unless you give your credit card details to be processed, your service will be suspended.

It can sound very plausible, and it’s easy to fall for it – a number of people have done. But once you’ve passed those details over, they’re not in the hands of Sky, but with the scammers who’ve tricked you.

How to Spot the Scam

The first giveaway is that someone would even call about a billing matter. According to Sky, anything like that would be handled in writing, and the same would be true for any subscription service of any kind.

The second red flag should be raised by the fact that your subscription hasn’t been paid. The vast majority of people will pay their Sky bill (and many others) by Direct Debit, which is all automated. Think about the way you pay yours.

Can the person who calls quote your account number? If he can’t give your name and account number, it’s a certain indication that this is a fake call, however clever and slick the script might be.

How to Avoid the Scam

The first rule of thumb is to be very sceptical and distrusting when it comes to phone calls involving personal details and financial matters. Legitimate businesses simply don’t call and ask for this kind of information – they’ll already have it on file.If you receive a call like this, ask for a number where you can call them back. The chances are they won’t give you one, but if they do (and, it has to be said, if they give a real number, that’s very stupid), compare it against the number you have for Sky (you can also find the number online).

The simplest thing, perhaps, is simply to ask them to put the request in writing and send it to you – which is the proper procedure, of course. You won’t hear from them again.

What To Do If You Think You’ve Been Scammed

Inform the card company, your bank and the credit reporting agencies immediately. Request a copy of your credit file, and ask the agencies to flag it, in case anyone tries to open a new account.

The best advice is simply to keep your wits about you. It’s easy to be carried away by a phone call – they can seem official – and never give out information over the phone in a call you haven’t initiated, and where you can be sure who you’re speaking with.

Reader Caught Out...

Some of our readers have sent in their own experiences with a slight twist on the above scam:

The phone call I received from 'Sky' was to inform me, I am the account holder, that I am paying a little too much for our current package and offering to reduce it by £2.01 per month. The caller confirmed my name and address in order to confirm changes in writing and gave a 'new tech support number' of 08712 344644, then asked which bank I was with. He then 'quoted' the first 4 digits of my card and asked me for the remaining digits. I realised just in time that this was a likely scam call and refused to give details. I then contacted sky on their proper number who confirmed they would not do this, and I was not the 1st person to report this.

Another Version

I too received a phone call from someone claiminng to be from sky maintenance department, he too knew our name address and phone number, he wanted to know which system we were using and asked if we were having any problems with the picture etc. He said because we had not called out any engineer we were entitled to 10% off next year's premium, and if I would verify account details that payment is made from.

I told him that I didn't give those details over the phone and he stated that the details were deleted after I verified the account, I then told him my husband dealt with the sky account and he was working, although he was at home, and that he wouldn't be home until 8, he said he would phone back later. I then phoned sky to verify the call and they said they had received a few calls like mine. The number is 08719011500 they also gave me a word to use if I was reporting a fault so that no-one could use my account for maintenance.

Another Variation..

Another twist on the billng enquiry. I was called to be told that I had been paying too much repair cover and was being refunded £60 . I informed the person calling that I don't pay any cover and then he tried getting me to tell him the long number on the credit card. I refused but many might not.

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just had a indian rang us on 0777657349 to tel us we have a problem with our box but as we do not have sky this must be a con
norman - 25-Jul-17 @ 12:12 PM
Sky switch team called before Sky was supposed to call claiming that they were going to help with broadband installation. Big error; plus the people at Sky always had a Scottish accent whenever I talked to them.
trite - 1-Dec-15 @ 3:23 PM
@eggs. You're not the first person to have experienced this. It's ridiculous that SKY gives you a secure login to your account on its website but via which you cannot cancel your contract. It suggests they have no confidence in their own security procedures (or could it be that they want to speak to you on the phone to try and persuade you to stay??).
SafeFromScams - 4-Sep-14 @ 11:49 AM
sky have a web site but wont let you cancell your contract with them by this ssite when i tried they had no record of my account ,but still asked for my details to be forward to them including bank details ect. when contacted sky asked them why have a web site that you are not able to cancel your sky account.got no direct answers from sky , still ongoing eggy
eggs - 3-Sep-14 @ 8:34 PM
Where in the UK do you live Ferdinand? And what was the black car?
LincolnshirePoacher - 16-Sep-12 @ 2:22 AM
On the day I had SKY installed (now 2 years ago), about 5 mins after the SKY engineered left (having installed the dish etc.) a black hatchback car drove slowly past my home - the occupants looking closely at my house; I was upstairs and thought it looked suspicious. I watched the two men in the car park behind my hedge, get out of the car, open the hatchback and put on high visibility jackets - I thought they were some kind of road work engineers. Then they walked up my driveway and rang the bell. I cautiously answered the door - they said they were from SKY (they had a sky logo on their sweatshirts, but it was the wrong typeface). They said ' we've come to check the work the SKY engineer has just done'. Well, how rediculous is that! Two people, in high visibility jackets, in an unmarked family car, both with clip-boards in hand checking the work of one man who had just left!!! I firmly told them I didn't want the work checked - they were suprised and tried to push it, so I closed the door. They very slowly walked back to their car, sat there for a while and eventually left. Meanwhile I phoned SKY, they told me they don't send out inspectors like that. I telephoned the local police and gave them the car reg (which I had noted as it drove away). Police said they would keep a look out for the vehicle - I heard nothing more. So, it seems they were following the engineer's van and trying on a scam. I wonder what they were planning to do? Then two days ago (2 years later) I get a call saying my maintenance contract was coming up for renewal for my Sky HD box. I asked where they got my number - he said 'from our database'. Well, I never take out maintenance contracts on anything, so I knew it was a scam. I told them I don't pay for any maintenance contracts - and put the phone down - I checked the number, but it was witheld.
Ferdinand - 1-Sep-12 @ 1:56 PM
On the day I had SKY installed (now 2 years ago), about 5 mins after the SKY engineered left (having installed the dish etc.) a black hatchback car drove slowly past my home - the occupants looking closely at my house; I was upstairs and thought it looked suspicious. I watched the two men in the car park behind my hedge, get out of the car, open the hatchback and put on high visibility jackets - I thought they were some kind of road work engineers. Then they walked up my driveway and rang the bell. I cautiously answered the door - they said they were from SKY (they had a sky logo on their sweatshirts, but it was the wrong typeface). They said ' we've come to check the work the SKY engineer has just done'. Well, how rediculous is that! Two people, in high visibility jackets, in an unmarked family car, both with clip-boards in hand checking the work of one man who had just left!!! I firmly told them I didn't want the work checked - they were suprised and tried to push it, so I closed the door. They very slowly walked back to their car, sat there for a while and eventually left. Meanwhile I phoned SKY, they told me they don't send out inspectors like that. I telephoned the local police and gave them the car reg (which I had noted as it drove away). Police said they would keep a look out for the vehicle - I heard nothing more. So, it seems they were following the engineer's van and trying on a scam. I wonder what they were planning to do? Then two days ago (2 years later) I get a call saying my maintenance contract was coming up for renewal for my Sky HD box. I asked where they got my number - he said 'from our database'. Well, I never take out maintenance contracts on anything, so I knew it was a scam. I told them I don't pay for any maintenance contracts - and put the phone down - I checked the number, but it was witheld.
Ferdinand - 1-Sep-12 @ 1:55 PM
Just had a call from a BOGUS maintenance Contract Partner claiming my Sky Box warranty had expired. He asked me what box I have?I told him he would know that but again he said they just look after maintenance!!!I suspected from the outset as he repeated the name of the company three times as I could not understand what he was saying.He wanted £65 frim me.I've asked him to call again tomorrow (let's see if he does)and meanwhile I rang Sky to verify and Sky confirmed SCAM!!!Please beware and do not divulge any info about bank details OR the product you have; chances are they'll call again and knowing what product you have will try work another scam! NB. Last night my friend had her email account hacked! Luckily, I received an email alledgedely from her which I knew instantly was suspect! I was able to tip her off.What else have they done in her name!!??? Sick of The Scammers!!!!!
Beat The Scammers! - 20-Aug-12 @ 6:17 PM
Had the same guy ring me from a scam company not interested and must admit swore at him and slammed phone down. Later rang again and stated because i didnt respond to his insurance offer. SKY would send a engineer to my address the following day between the hours 6oclock/8oclock in the morning to take away my SKY arial and wiring and access inside my house to take away other SKY equipment,nobody of course turned up , But what the hell is going on with those sort of threats.
no. - 21-Jun-12 @ 1:47 PM
Very similar to KimKaze post above in June.This time a woman said they were from Sky to begin with.The incoming number was Witheld this time.(they've obviously learnt). At one stage the woman mentioned a new Sky +HD box and a £6 a monthan extended warranty. .When the woman thought she had got a sale she put me through to her boss (a more pushy man).I was given 0845 3885537 apparently a Priority line to phone for any problems and was told that the company name was SMART SAD (which I asked him to spell out).He wanted payment by Credit card or direct debit over the phone then.When I said it was probably cheaper for me to get a new Sky+ box he hung up......
Jane - 13-Jun-12 @ 4:54 PM
Phone call from number withheld. The company that called me today said they were from Sky and asked me if I had a Sky+ box and was it working.When I said well actually we did have a problem I was given a no. to call 0845 3885537 a Priority Line number I could use if I payed £6 today (don't know how much this number would cost). I was also promised a new Sky+ HD box!! if I signed up to their £6 a month contract.I thought I'd see where this was all going.Rather pleased with herself,the woman said she would now pass me over to her boss.He told me maintenance contract would cost £6 a month and that they guaranteed someone would be out the next day for any problems.I said so you're from Sky,he went quiet and said well we are an agent for Sky.I asked how will I pay for this. When he said credit card, or direct debitI'll need to take your details I was a little suspicious.I then asked who they were and he spelled out SMARTSAD.(A very strange name I thought).I said it would be probably cheaper to buy a new box and he hung up............ Most probably another scam I think.
Jane - 13-Jun-12 @ 4:34 PM
i have just been called on the phone by sky safe.the guy new my name etc. then told me my sky protection had run out.and to give him my bank details to restart my protection for my sky equipment..i new right away it was a SCAM. I TOLD the idiot to get off the phone( i am being polite because my language was anglo saxon to say the least) PLEASE DO NOT GIVE ANY PERSONAL INFO TO SKY SAFE.
gez - 29-May-12 @ 7:39 PM
Just received a call from a company called Satelite Services telling me my Sky warranty had run out. I don't even have SKY. They even quoted an address I haven't lived at for 10 years! I played along until the woman asked me top get my bank account details so she could sign me up for £5 per month. I declined. The telephone number is 01618752400. I've reported the number.
textiletony - 23-May-12 @ 3:30 PM
Homeguard Direct are still at it! They phoned me about six months ago and my husband today, trying to convince us that they were endorsed by Sky, and could we just confirm a few details....? Very professional sounding but we never, EVER give our financial detais over the phone, especially to cold callers...
Nicci - 19-Apr-12 @ 11:02 PM
1EOC Services Ltd are at it again today. My husband got duped last July just as fop & KimKaze described above. They had the cheek to call back today in April, saying the warranty my husband purchased with them had now expired. They were trying to get us to renew it. We too have been helping Somerset and Avon Police with this case. I have an update to give them now. The nerve of some criminals!
Barbie - 17-Apr-12 @ 5:44 PM
I just received a call about Homeguard on my Skybox teling me it had no been used during the warranty and that they can reduce the payment as I have paid £120 last year. I told them that I dont have a warranty on my sky box nor did I know of any company called Homeguard on my DD account payments. I ask the girl where she had got my number from as it is ex directory.with that she hung up!!!Its no wonder why our country is in such a mess when fraudsters exist like this!its a shame they are not forced to pay back the money for the rest of their life to the poor unsuspecting people who get taken in. why arent sky doing something to advise their customers of the fraudulent actions taking place using their brand...any respectable business would try to protect their brand equity..what say you SKY?
22 - 15-Mar-12 @ 6:21 PM
Paying Sky Themselves is a con Its legalized robbery. And Skybet is very very corupt please dont touch these companies they will rip You off Completely.
chaz1234 - 26-Dec-11 @ 11:34 PM
1 EOC cold called my husband in June 2011 said they could save us money on sky got bank details and took £79.00. I reported them to Consumer Direct and now Somerset and Avon Police are also launching a criminal fraud case about this. I contacted ny building society and managed to get the money back from their bank account as it was a fraudulant transcaction beware.
fop - 24-Nov-11 @ 7:53 PM
My elderly father just handed over 65 pounds by debit card to a con called MY COVER LTD.thinking it is SKY insurance. I assume it is a con as I can find no record of them. Please be aware of this.
KIDDO - 31-Oct-11 @ 4:18 PM
Yes, beware this company. Fraud.They seem to cold call vulnerable people who have Sky and talk them into giving card details over the phone for a warranty service.£79.99 was taken from my dad's account. They don't answer their phone or reply to emails.
John - 1-Sep-11 @ 2:41 PM
we received a call claiming to be from sky insurance, which we used to have!! this asian sounding guy was unbelievably cocky.. he insisted on speaking with my husband, knew his name, i said no he is not available, and the guy said "why not", i said it was sunday bank holiday and we were not taking this type of call on this day, then i put the phone down, not 2 seconds later this guy rang me back, i put the phone down, the phone rang again straight away, by this time i was irritated to say the least... he said that my husband had paid twice and that they would like to refund him a payment... fortunately i heard this conversation, and not that he would have, but i butted in and said no way do you give this caller any details... the worrying part was, he knew my husbands email address, knew most of his credit card details as well.... he put the phone down after the guy got annoyed, what a bloody cheek, pardon my french!!! but i was so cross....however we rang sky immeidately and they gave us their independent equipment insurers contact details, and i rang them, no record of the phone call was on their system and no way they said would they ring and make such a statement over the phone, they would do it in writiing... so alarm bells once again!!! this now means my husband has to change his email add, and inform the bank re his credit card etc... the phone call was bad enough but it was the sheer front and cheek of the guy that beggerd belief... so confident and cocky, wish i could get my hands on him.. and of course the call came up as withheld.... so please be aware out there... dont trust anyone who rings you unless they take you through a security exercise and if you know the company....my worry is the elderly how the hell are they expected to cope with calls like this!!! its terrible...what can be done???
no - 28-Aug-11 @ 10:23 PM
Looks like these guys have form.My husband received a call off one of their representatives last Friday, who stated that she was going to save him money on the Sky (which, incidentally, we don’t have!) and then proceeded to give him his card details ‘to check that they were still correct’. Having been given his own details he assumed it was something legitimate. I received paperwork stating that they have taken £79.99 for a policy covering equipment we don’t have in our property!!The policy is also in my name, and I have had no previous communication with the company!!I am, to say the least, angry that a policy has been mis-sold to my husband and money was taken without even being mentioned to him!I had a cheque refund (as I refused to disclose my info to them again), which has, not suprisingly, bounced 3 times.Now there is no answer on their phone!!!How can I get my money back, or do I just write it off as a bad loss??
Pam - 17-Aug-11 @ 4:05 PM
we know that there were rogue traders in the industry a few years ago but lately,the FSA has tightened its grip in this industry and the problem is now under control.The public should know that SKY isnt authorised by the government to do maintenance and breakdown service alongside the provision of digital service.There is a company called DOMESTIC & GENERAL who buy SKY's name and logo(porporting to be sky wheras,they are not) and they administer SKYPROTECT and are not even regulated by the FSA yet sky recomends them just because they pay loads of money to sky do this.Not many members of the public know this.All sky is doing is to monopolise everything.No wonder Rupert Murdoch was facialed with shave foamcream because he thinks that gaining direct acess to Downing street gives him licence to own everything.IMAGINE IF HE HAD SUCESSFULLY BOUGHT OVER BSKYB........YOUR BILLS WOULD HAVE QUADROPLED JUST LIKE THAT....PLEASE THINK PEOPLE!!!!
che - 25-Jul-11 @ 11:40 PM
Someone called my Husband whilst I was at work, claiming NOT to be actually from Sky but from the company that covers our box. I pressed them and they said they were from '1eoc' company and they are 'working with Sky'.They claimed my warranty for the box was running out and that I'd got it insured last year and should now repeat that.I was suspicious and so asked about things and why for example, I had no memory of this payment and that they had nothing on record about me (they said they delete things after the payment is made for data protection reasons), nor did they give me any account number or date that I made this previous payment.I asked why don't they send out stuff in writing and they said they get poor returns on letters.I also said I don't recall making the payment and they said 'maybe you did it by monthly installments' and when I told them I cut them all out they backpeddled. I then asked for a secure way to know who they were and they offered to put me through to the Customer department (whatever that means)I was then put through to some other very young lady who didn't know what I was telling her at all.They tried to push me and in the end I told them no and rung off.They gave me this number to call - 0844 6932855.The number they called me on however was 01275 390584! I checked google for 1eoc ... they have a rubbish, cheap website that looks like a child made it in 30 minutes and it is a RESELLING ELECTRICAL HARDWARE SITE. So they take your stuff and flog it.Nice ppl.
KimKaze - 15-Jun-11 @ 4:34 PM
I too received a call today purporting to be from a maintenance company, Homeguard Direct, who quoted the amount I was paying for my Sky subscription. because I had not called them out they were going to reduce my payments. I do not have a maintenance contract but they asked for my DD card details . I refused to give them. ,
Fred - 14-Jun-11 @ 7:57 PM
We too received a similar call. I rang the genuine company that covers our box and they said that a password can be put on your account, which I have now done. Previsouly we have received calls again from 'Sky' saying they can reduce or bills if we give them bank details.
Steven - 11-May-11 @ 6:04 PM
My elderly mother was called today by someone claiming to be from Sky who said that her warranty was out of date & needed renewal. She thought she paid for a service cover by direct debit but was confused - luckily she asked them to call back & in the interim we called Sky directly. They confirmed that they NEVER call people by telephone so if anyone calls claiming to be from Sky then they are frauds. If I get hold of them..........................................
Lez - 10-May-11 @ 7:50 PM
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