House­hold­ers warned over new cold call con

The Oban Times - - News 9 -

HOUSE­HOLD­ERS across the re­gion are be­ing warned over latest tele­phone and doorstep scams in the area by High­land coun­cil and trad­ing stan­dards.

A new cold call con known as the ‘dis­con­nec­tion scam’ has been un­earthed where the caller tar­gets un­sus­pect­ing house­hold­ers falsely rep­re­sent­ing their tele­com provider. House­hold­ers are per­suaded that their bills are in ar­rears and im­me­di­ate pay­ment is nec­es­sary to re­main con­nected to the net­work.

A spokesman from High­land coun­cil said: ‘The scam­mer may of­fer to demon­strate that they have the abil­ity to dis­con­nect the tele­phone. This sim­ple trick in­volves the scam­mer press­ing the mute but­ton which stops the dial tone and pre­vents the re­cip­i­ent of the call from di­alling out. How­ever, the phone is still con­nected to the scam­mer, even though it ap­pears that the line is ‘dead’.’ Fraud­sters are us­ing this method to dupe bill pay­ers in to think­ing they are a gen­uine com­pany rep­re­sen­ta­tive.’

A spokesper­son from BT ad­vised that they may have to con­tact a cus­tomer about an out­stand­ing debt, but they will never dis­con­nect a phone line dur­ing the call.

Rogue traders are also at the fore­front of trad­ing stan­dards in­ves­ti­ga­tions. Re­cently, they have been found to sell any­thing from kitchen knives to paving and drive­way con­struc­tion, but the work is found to be over­priced and of­ten par­tially or badly done.

House­hold­ers feel un­der pres­sure to book the work­ers and are forced to pay cash up­front.

If you are re­port­ing sus­pect ac­tiv­ity it is use­ful to note down lo­ca­tions, times, reg­is­tra­tion num­bers and any other in­for­ma­tion.

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