- Callers Claiming to be Police Officers
- Rogue Traders
- Wiltshire Police (external site) contains up to date crime reports and advice
- Telephone Scam
Fraudsters either phone or attend the home address of elderly members of the public, claiming to be police officers.
The fake officer/s will claim that they are investigating a fraud which they believe the elderly person to be a victim of. The fake officer/s will then request the bank cards and personal identification numbers (PIN) of the victim and claim these are needed for investigation purposes. If the first contact was made by a phone call, the fake officer/s will tell the victim that someone will be over to collect the evidence.
In one case a victim was instructed to attend their local bank and withdraw all of the money from their account. The suspect was left alone in the victim’s house whilst the victim carried out the instructions.
- Before letting anyone into your home who claims to be from any law enforcement agency, ask to see their identity card and check it by calling 101.
- Ask if they can attend at a pre-arranged time when a family member or friend can also be present.
- If you receive a phone call from a police officer, ask for their name and force and tell them you will call them back. Wait a few minutes and then use 101 to call them back through their force’s switchboard and verify their identity.
- The Police will never ask for your PIN or passwords. Do not give this information to anyone.
- The Police will never request that you withdraw/transfer any money to them.
Do not engage with cold callers offering to do home maintenance work. Wet weather, fallen leaves and high winds can be an excuse for cold callers to knock on doors offering to clean or repair gutters or roofs, repair or replace damaged driveways or take down trees.
Beware too “Nottingham Knockers” trying to sell cleaning goods door to door in Amesbury, Netheravon, Winterbourne Stoke, Durrington and possibly other surrounding villages that have not been reported. The persons involved and stopped were not carrying pedlars licenses and are operating illegally.
If they are in your area or do happen to knock your door please call 101 and we will attend and deal with them accordingly.
The council’s trading standards team advises strongly against people engaging with any person who calls without appointment. Obvious signs of potential rogue traders are:
- Appear not to be local (due to accents or no genuine local address provided)
- Only a mobile phone number given no landline
- No written quotation provided and no details of the right to cancel provided
- Vague about the cost or what work will be done
- Cost appears cheap for the work offered this will often be a bait as costs will rise.
The advice is that:
- Elderly residents should not answer the door to unexpected callers
- Do not be tricked into stepping outside your home by any unexpected caller
- Call 999 if you feel intimidated by a caller or a caller will not leave when they are asked.
- If you need work doing to your home approach local reputable businesses for quotes and get three to compare costs.
- Be as vigilant as possible to this type of crime and look out for any vulnerable or elderly friends and relatives who might be particularly at risk.”
There is plenty of support available for people including:
All the traders registered with these schemes have been checked out by trading standards. For further advice people should call the consumer helpline on 03454 040506.
We are fortunate in Shrewton in having well established and reliable local crafts and trades people. Ask around if you want a recommendation or look at the Classified list on this website.
How this works – you get a call from someone saying they are from BT who informs you that your line will be disconnected because of an unpaid bill.
The callers demands immediate payment using a credit card or the amount would increase considerably to re-connect at a later date.
You may be given an 0800 number to call as assurance.
The caller isn’t fazed if you say you are with another provider. The caller tells you that your supplier have to pay BT a percentage for line rental.
The caller may offer to demonstrate that they are from BT by disconnecting your line immediately. You will be asked to hang up and try phoning someone. Your line will be dead – no dial, ringing or engaged or engaged tone, nothing – until the caller rings again.
The caller asked if that was enough proof that he was with BT.
The caller’s number will be withheld. The 0800 number may be fictitious or be genuine but have nothing to do with the caller.
- Do not disclose any payment/credit card details over the phone the transaction would not get past merchant services it is all about getting the credit card details which include the security number, to be used for other larger purchases.
- Write down or record specific details from the call (e.g names, numbers, method, etc).
- Let as many people, friends & family know of this scam.
Report it to the police, whether card details have been disclosed or not. The fact that the phone does go off would probably convince some people it’s real. Check with BT using a telephone number from correspondence you know is genuine.
HOW IS IT DONE?
The cutting off of the line is very simple, the caller stays on the line with the mute button on and you can’t dial out – but he can hear you trying. (This is because the person who initiates a call is the one to terminate it).
When you stop trying caller cuts off and immediately calls back.
If you feel you have fallen victim to a similar scam, please report it to police.
Top of Page