Although they don t seem to have been very open about admitting it, TalkTalk had their customer records hacked1 a little while back. I can only take their word for their claim to have emailed every customer but the customer I visited recently, who had received a phone call apparently from TalkTalk and had been persuaded to verify her bank details, assures me she didn t remember receiving any emails. What she did notice was a rather large sum of money departing her bank account a short while later. Never believe any unsolicited phone call claiming to be from your bank, credit card company, broadband supplier, Sky TV, etc even if the caller s number displayed on your phone appears to be correct. If you receive such a call and believe it to be genuine, tell them you ll ring them back. Then, make a cup of tea and call a friend. After that, when you can be assured that the fraudsters haven t been keeping your line connected and playing you a recording of dial tone to convince you they ve gone, by all means ring the company to see if they have genuinely contacted you. This is even more important when using a mobile, where you don t get a dial tone to confirm that they ve disconnected.
I experienced this myself while visiting a customer in Hunstanton recently. Happily, he had the phone on loudspeaker and I could tell him to hang up. I immediately rang Sky, which is who the caller claimed to be, who confirmed that they had definitely not rung him.
Be on your guard!