A word of warning!
Written by Jackie Clark on 19 Apr 2016
Never a day seems to go by without a news story of an unfortunate member of the public being duped out of hard earned cash by increasingly unscrupulous fraudsters. It’s a sign of the times that sadly, not everyone is always who they claim to be and we all must be on our guard to protect what is ours, whether it be money or even our very identity!
Unfortunately this was brought home to a customer of ours yesterday, although happily, due to our technician Stuart’s vigilence and quick thinking, any potential loss was prevented.
Whilst working in a customer’s home yesterday morning, Stuart heard the telephone ring. Our customer went to answer it. Some time later, as Stuart was going out to fetch something from his van, he overheard our customer, still on the telephone, becoming quite agitated, so much so that Stuart began to realise something was very wrong. Torn between not wanting to pry or interfere and a natural concern for our elderly customer, Stuart tactfully asked if she needed any assistance. Putting her hand over the phone receiver, our customer explained that the caller was “from B.T” and was aggressively requesting even more information from her than she had already given (which up to that point was her bank card details and date of birth!) She asked Stuart to speak to him as she was struggling to understand why he needed yet more details. On quizzing the caller, Stuart’s suspicions that he was “up to no good” were quickly confirmed and he terminated the call. Then using his mobile phone, he checked the telephone number of the caller online, only to see it listed time after time by people reporting it in connection with “scam” calls.
Next, Stuart helped our, by then, very upset and confused customer to report the incident to her bank and make the necessary arrangements to stop her bank card and issue her with a new one.
When Stuart arrived back in the office, he reported the telephone number through the appropriate channels and ensured that the police were also made aware.
Although, luckily, we were able to help in this particular case, often, there won’t be anyone on hand when the scammers call and they can get away with conning their victims undisturbed. Please, if you have elderly or vulnerable relatives, friends or neighbours, do remind them to take extra care and stay alert to potential fraud or “scams”.
The following articles from B.T (really!) and Ofcom, contain extra information on what to look out for and what to do if you think you may have fallen victim.