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Provide a dedicated phone number for hijacked smarty SIM & accounts as chatbots aren't good enough

TriciaG_1895742
SMARTY Pioneer
SMARTY Pioneer

@scams

My stepmother  (82 years old) was spoofed on her landline (in the context of a "supposed" fraud on her bank account from her bank), and followed the scammers instructions by switching on on her mobile & (although she has no clear idea of what she did in a 1 hour call) she typed in a number (probably a mobile number possibly in the Phone App  on her iphone), which resulted in her transferring her mobile number to a Lyca network. The scammers then blocked her out of her Smarty account by changing the password. We managed (through a painful process of poor & inappropriate Chat bot responses ) managed to get smarty to give her access to her account again & Smarty changed her mobile number. Now if you phone her old number it is disconnected, & the new number defaults to Lyca answerphone. Her new password is invalid again!  No point in going through another painful , hit-and-miss iteration of getting it unblocked, as clearly the scammers can go through the same process & trump her! 

The only option to clear this up, is to start afresh with a new sim on a new network. Fortunately she did not have 2 stage authentication on many accounts; but the mind boggles at what the scammers are going to do with her phone number!!

Just posting this, as Smarty need to take account hijacking seriously & facilitate resolution ...not aid the hijackers; a dedicated phone number would help. They have a help leaflet on Vulnerable people claiming they support them  - but evidence of that is lacking!

3 REPLIES 3

MSF
SMARTY Superhero
SMARTY Superhero

@TriciaG_1895742  Are you able to request a STAC from Lyca and therefore close off the number permanently?

Presumably, the scammers persuaded her to get a PAC code and move the number to Lyca. It looks like Smarty changed the number before it arrived with Lyca - you say that the new number goes to Lyca voicemail.

Agreed, it all sounds like a terrible mess. The problem is that if Smarty were to set up a dedicated phone number, it would be jammed with people asking all manner of questions and so would likely be permanently engaged. Also, there is a cost element to running a customer service call centre; networks li9ke smarty keep the costs down by doing away with this.

I agree your analysis of what the scammers effectively talked my step mother through.

You have confirmed Smarty's business model (& obviously a successful one at that) to avoid having any non-tech-savy customers (i.e. Seniors); in spite of what Sarty prints on the "Vulnerability" statement. Seniors should go with a more expensive company/tariff to be entitled to some hand-holding.

Unfortunately, short of buying a SIM card of Lyca , I have no way of communicating with them. Additionally difficult as their website is in US. Similarly to Smarty - I can only post this because I am doing it from my account, not my stepmothers (Yep it was me who persuaded her to join Smarty).

At least Smarty seems to have blocked the use of her old phone number, as now when you ring it, it says "unrecognised". It would appear they have only the use of the (randomly generated) new mobile no. replaced by Smarty - & of course access to the data on her account (address &email address).

@TriciaG_1895742  Did you take a look at their web page? It suggests a UK contact number: https://www.lycamobile.co.uk/en/help/contact-us/ 

The website is a .co.uk so should be in UK