Monday, 21 September 2020

Beware scam calls, says carer

A CARER from Wargrave is urging elderly and vulnerable residents to beware after receiving what she believes to be a scam telephone call.

Caroline Hubbard was called by a woman claiming to be from a government department.

She was asked if she wanted to have her loft inspected with a view to making the house more energy efficient.

Mrs Hubbard rejected the offer as she did not feel it was appropriate to have visitors at her home during the coronavirus pandemic, particularly as the caller claimed to be from Bournemouth.

When she passed on the caller’s telephone number to Thames Valley Police, they were unable to trace it, so she reported it to Action Fraud.

Mrs Hubbard, 59, who is a carer for her parents, said she was concerned about vulnerable people receiving such a call and paying for a service they might not need.

She said: “She spouted a lot of information about things like government directives and initiatives and said that we hadn’t had our loft inspected for 25 years. It sounded very official but then a lot of scammers do.

“I challenged it with the police and they suggested I called the fraud squad and they called me later to thank me. Apparently, this has been reported in other places like Sandhurst, Crowthorne and Basingstoke.

“My concern is the danger of people being scammed — no one should be coming to your home from outside the local area because of the covid rules.

“Older people living on their own are particularly vulnerable. If someone calls and starts spouting government information, it might sound very convincing.

“When you are isolated and on your own you can become more vulnerable.

“She gave me the impression that it was a pressure sale and that you might get a fine if you didn’t buy into it. It is the sort of thing you can easily get caught out on.

“It is horrible when you are scammed online and lose all of your money. To have people come into your home from another area is another thing. It is a big deal and elderly people could be exposed.”

Action Fraud said the details had been passed on to the National Fraud Intelligence Bureau.

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