Council warns residents over TV switchover fraud

Merton is warning its elderly residents not to allow doorstep fraudsters claiming to help them with April’s digital TV switchover, into their homes.

The council is concerned that fraudsters may pose as digital contractors around this time to gain access to homes or con vulnerable people out of money.

Anyone over the age of 75 or registered disabled who is entitled to a personal visit, is being reminded that official Government information packs are being sent explaining the changeover process.

No one from Digital UK or the Switchover Help Scheme will visit without an appointment. The council is also urging residents to keep themselves safe by demanding identification from uninvited callers and to call the company to check who they are.

Councillor Edith Macauley, Merton Council Cabinet member for community safety, engagement and equalities said: “We want to make sure none of our residents are taken advantage of during this time.

“If anyone suspects anything, has paid a deposit to a trader, or thinks there’s a rogue contractor working door-to-door, they should call the Consumer Direct helpline on 08454 04 05 06, who will alert Trading Standards if necessary. This will make sure we all stay safe in our homes during the switchover.”

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Notes to editors

The switchover will take place in two phases on Wednesday 4 and 18 April. Anyone who can already receive more than five channels will need to re-tune their set, or if they receive less, will need to buy a digital receiver, costing around £20 from many high street shops.

For more information, visit: http://www.digitaluk.co.uk. To check eligibility for extra help, visit: http://www.helpscheme.co.uk or call for free on: 0800 40 85 900.