Is this a genuine BT bill, or a very convincing scam?

All the logos look right – but I pay by direct debit on an account with a different number

Last modified on Mon 15 Nov 2021 02.02 EST

I am writing to bring your readers’ attention to a very convincing scam BT phone bill which, I suspect, will have caught out others.

It looks exactly like a normal BT bill, with my name and address, and came in an envelope with a BT logo, using its prepaid delivery service.

The only difference is the account number. It should start GB, rather than the GP as on the fake bill. The thing that alerted me to the demand, which was for £222, is that I pay by direct debit.

I have tried for weeks to get BT to respond, but no one ever listens. I have reported it to Action Fraud, which plans to take no action. And I have no idea whether the Barclays account that people are invited to pay into is legitimate, or not.

KA, Horley

Scam letters are ten a penny, and my initial reaction was to agree with you that this was the most realistic one that I’d seen in a long while. But the more I looked at it, the more I became convinced this was a real bill – albeit one that did not feature your phone number and with a different account number to yours.

When I checked the details – the phone line to call, and the BT bank account number and sort code to pay via online banking – they were the correct numbers for a BT business, rather than domestic, account.

What makes this case even stranger is that when you gave BT the bill’s details, you were told there was no record of this account, confirming your view that it must be a scam.

However, BT has finally admitted it is a real bill for a business account, meaning you are being double charged for the same line. This would not be the first time the company had set up a shadow account in error, but at least we have got to the bottom of it.

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