Telecommunications giant TalkTalk is beginning investigations after it emerged earlier this week that its customers were being targeted by an industrial-scale fraud network in India.
Whistleblowers have claimed that they and hundreds of staff were hired to scam customers, working across call centres in two Indian cities.
They claim as many as 60 employees work in shifts in each office, phoning TalkTalk customers and obtaining bank account information illegally.
Whistleblowers describe how they were given a script to use, claiming that they were representing the British company, persuading victims to install a computer virus, while a separate team of fraudsters would then gain access to victims’ online banking.
Although the claims have yet to be independently verified, the highly detailed accounts given by the sources match previous reports of fraud targeting TalkTalk customers.
A screenshot of a script read out by the scammers has also matched a call made to a victim who was then conned out of £5,000.
The scam is linked with problems by a company that TalkTalk hired previously, outsourcing some of its call-centre work to the Calcutta office of Wipro, one of the largest IT service companies operating out of India.
Last year, three employees from the Wipro office were arrested on suspicion of selling TalkTalk customer data. It is alleged that the same data then found its way into the hands of a criminal gang, with USB sticks full of data exchanging hands at various parties in India, resulting in the data being used in at least three call centres, where staff work shifts earning £120 a month.
Customers may have lost thousands of pounds, with Leigh Day solicitors representing at least 20 people thought to be effected by the scam and over £100,000 lost between them.
In October 2015 TalkTalk began a forensic review which led to the arrests at Wipro, however the data breach is thought to have happened in late 2014.