If you receive unsolicited calls like in the example below, from someone claiming to be from a government agency and you think it is a scam, the best course of action is simply to hang up.
Failing this get their details and speak to a family member or contact them on a trusted number. If still uncertain, contact us at the Police and we can give advice as to what to do.
“A call was received from an 012… number (full details no known) to an elderly person living in the Whitstable area.
The male caller purported to be from a government agency, asking if the person’s property had previously received a grant for free loft insulation.
It had, so the caller then sought to confirm that the loft was still used for storage as opposed to having been converted for living accommodation.
He stated that problems with damp had been identified with such installations and a team would be sent round that day to check for signs of damage.
The caller then asked if the occupier was aged between 60 and 85 (which was the case), and then asked if the person routinely made important decisions on their own or with the assistance of family / friends.
When the occupier said “family” the call was abruptly ended and the line went dead.
Clearly this was not a call from a legitimate agency.
It could have been from a firm looking to do unnecessary work or worse still from scammers trying to gain entry to a vulnerable person’s home, with ill intent in mind.
The moral of the story must be, never to trust cold caller’s stated identity and always get a second opinion from a trusted friend or family member before agreeing to anything or giving out any personal details, including home address.
It is interesting to note that on this occasion the caller did not say that they knew the address of the person that was phoned, but even if they had of done it would not have proven any form of validation so far as their identity was concerned.”
We have received below a variation on the BT scam, alerted by a NHW member.
Please be alert to this and as always, do not ASSUME the caller is genuine, do not BELIEVE they are genuine, always CONFIRM they are genuine by contacting a trusted number and if possible, on a different telephone than the one they rung you on.
If you know it is a scam, like in this case, simply hang up.
“Earlier today this member received a phone call, seemingly from BT.
An automated message advised the informant that they had a text message waiting and to hear it they had to press “1” on their phone.
Suspicion was aroused, not least because their phone contract is not with BT and so the phone was immediately put down.
Within seconds the phone rang again and a further automated message thanked the informant for their payment of £500.
To cancel this payment they had to press “1” again.
Unsurprisingly our informant just put the phone down.
This appears to a variant on the “mobile phone” scam about which we passed on an alert earlier this year.
The second call is an unpleasant addition to this scam and our informant did exactly the right thing by putting the phone down.”