Merton Council’s trading standards team is warning residents to be on their guard against cold callers after an elderly lady was conned into handing over £550.
The scammers are telephoning households saying they are from the Office of Fair Trading and claiming they can get thousands of pounds in compensation for mis-sold Payment Protection Insurance (PPI). They then ask for an ‘administration fee’ before they can release any cash. Victims are told to buy an electronic cash voucher and asked to pass the code onto the conmen who then spend the money without giving the compensation.
Cabinet member for community safety and engagement, Councillor Edith Macauley said: “We are urging residents to be extra vigilant when speaking to people who are door stepping or cold calling and to be very wary of letters and emails asking for a payment. As a rule of thumb, never give your bank details to anyone and if you’re asked for an up-front fee for something you haven’t asked for, don’t pay it. These crimes swindle people out of their hard earned money and we want to help stop this happening.”
If anyone thinks they may have been a victim of a scam, they should report it to Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040.
Residents can also call the Citizens Advice Consumer Service for advice on 0845 04 05 06.