TalkTalk phone scams: arrests made at Indian call center

David bisson
David Bisson


Authorities have nabbed three employees of an Indian call center following an investigation into a spate of phone scams targeting TalkTalk customers.

On Wednesday, the UK broadband ISP released a statement regarding the arrests:

“We have been working with Wipro, (a call centre provider to TalkTalk and a number of other major businesses) and the local Police in Kolkata. Acting on information supplied by TalkTalk, the local Police have arrested three individuals who have breached our policies and the terms of our contract with Wipro. We are also reviewing our relationship with Wipro.”

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Jamie Rigg of Engadget notes that the information to which the workers had access was “extremely limited.”

Nevertheless, authorities have reason to believe that the employees passed the data on to scammers.

Talktalk statement

It is important to emphasize that these types of low-level attacks pale in comparison to last October’s hack, an incident which compromised a total of 157,000 TalkTalk customers’ personal information and approximately 15,600 bank account numbers.

Nevertheless, as TalkTalk has stated itself, the breach did motivate it to launch a forensic review of its security, including that of its suppliers, to make sure that all of its protocols are being followed:

“We are determined to identify and deal effectively with these issues and we will continue to devote significant resource to keeping our customers’ data safe. Data theft and scams are a growing issue affecting all businesses and they are notoriously difficult to investigate and prosecute. We are pleased that our investigations have yielded results, and will continue to do everything we can to tackle these crimes.”

No doubt TalkTalk chose to address these arrests in an effort to highlight its ongoing security investigation. A wise move, especially considering reports that customers had been complaining about phone scams well before the October hack, not to mention the fact that the ISP had failed to do anything in response because of a reported lack of resources.

When a company experiences a breach as large as the one TalkTalk suffered back in October, it takes a while before it can even hope to reclaim its customers’ trust. This development suggests that the ISP might be on the road to such a recovery. Let us hope the company continues to maintain a proactive stance on security going forward.

In the meantime, according to Ars Technica, TalkTalk is scheduled to soon release its first quarterly earnings since the attack, figures which will no doubt reveal just how many subscribers chose to drop the ISP following the breach. Stay tuned!

David Bisson is an infosec news junkie and security journalist. He works as Contributing Editor for Graham Cluley Security News and Associate Editor for Tripwire's "The State of Security" blog.

5 comments on “TalkTalk phone scams: arrests made at Indian call center”

  1. David

    I have just fallen victim to talk talks most recent scam. Firstly a message came on my screen that appeared to be from the local police authorities asking for a 100 pound payment to forgive crimes that I have not done through pay secure online, researching this I found to be a scam however shortly after I received a call on the house phone from a call centre claiming to be talk talk. They confirm I'm having problems with my Internet and the service is slow etc, this was true so I continued to trust them with caution asking the caller basic questions like her company address and simultaneously checking her answers on my mobile to be legit so I continued to follow the instructions to help my computer issues. I was asked to turn my Internet and laptop on and was led through steps allowing her to access my laptop which I regret doing as I allowed the process to continue I grew suspicious when told a 200 pound refund would be made in compensation, again quickly researching talk talk scams on my mobile I was horrified to read the process I'd been through led to thousands being stolen, I quickly unplugged the Internet connection as I could see my laptop being controlled remotely and hung up on the caller, attempting to restore my laptop to factory settings I am now faced with a login password page I've never seen and cannot access my laptop. Worst part is my laptop had valuable banking information easily accessible on the desktop and all of my photography work could be lost.
    I'm now in the process of securing all that could be effected which is endless and without a laptop.

    I hope these people are caught and serve justice compensating all those who have been victim to their crimes, I have informed the police with hope of positive results.

  2. Craig

    About two weeks ago I was contacted on Saturday early afternoon by an Indian TalkTalk IT engineer(FAKE) who said they had found errors on their servers. They could tell me my home address and name but not my account number so I hung up the call as I found it very suspicious. This is the first time this has happened don't fall for the scam. Hang the phone up.!!

  3. DonRaggo

    I consider myself P.C literate and have been using them for nearly 20 years, and I have recently been scammed using nearly the same methods as David described… it seemed so professional, they knew my name and how long I had had the router, they phoned me on my landline that ONLY Talk Talk would use, they convinced me to let them Team View my computer ( I know, I know.. ), the operator, who was very eloquent and patient said he needed to scan my router via T.V…. everything seemed fine, the router was indeed being scanned and at the end he said I was due a refund of £300, then he said he would pay it into my paypal account, which actually showed up as £600, the operator said he'd made a mistake and his job was on the line, and I must pay the £300 into a separate Moneygram account and not to mention Talk Talk, by then I realized it was a scam and hung up and disconnected T.V. I run a malware and virus scan and they were both clean, thank God. In short, even experienced users can be fooled by these scum. I NEVER in my wildest dreams expected to fall for a scam.

    1. Dongro · in reply to DonRaggo

      I have just had the exact same experience and just managed to stop money transfer when I realised what was happening. They even had cheek to call back next day. Can we get out of TalkTalk contracts?

  4. James

    I've just had the same thing happen to me as David,
    Lucky for me the bank stopped the payment and locked me out of my internet banking.
    It was only when I contacted the bank I they told me it's a common scam, you feel like such a fool, massive wake up call!

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