Online Safety

Brett Levy sq

Cold Calls to save you money, how you can listen out for red flags if you get one…

There is a really clever scam around at the moment, this one is designed to potentially save you money – it is still concerning!  I know you are saying hold on Brett – if it saves you money why is it a scam… Click through to read more about how this scam works …

I was contacted by “Origin” saying that the prices are about to rise but they could save me money. Now my Utilities are with Origin so I didn’t suspect anything at first. He asked me to confirm my email, which I did and which plan I was on (that was the first warning sign as if he worked for Origin he should know). I said I was not sure and he said not to worry – he will check. 

He then said I should have received an SMS with a one-time pin (OTP) and asked me to read it to him.

This is where the alarm bells started chiming. First off the SMS actually says “Don’t give this to anyone” and secondly I know never to give these to anyone.

I said to him that this doesn’t seem right and that I am no longer comfortable. He told me not to worry and that he is only trying to help me save money. I then called him out and said that I don’t believe he is from Origin and I want some clarification and proof of credentials.

He said that he is from a comparative energy company contracted to Origin (that is a lie too) and only wants to save me money.

I hung up the phone.

So – here is the mechanics of the “scam”. When I gave him my email address he was already on the Origin website and typed it in to log in and then selected “Forgot Password”, which then sent me the OTP and if I had given that to him he would have been able to reset and access my account.

So why did he want to do this? Well he probably did want to save me money, you see if he had convinced me to change packages then he would get a commission. The only way he could give me a better deal is to see what I was currently paying and if he had gained access to my account he would have seen the info he needed.

The problem is that as this is not only unscrupulous, it is illegal too. Who knows what he could have done with the data I have stored in my account! 

So – please be careful and remember – no one will ever ask you for a OTP over the phone.

Brett Levy
ASCCA Director