Older Britons issued warning on dangerous telephone scam – ‘don’t be afraid to hang up!’

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Several individuals have reported receiving a call from out of the blue, which has vicious intentions. The caller claims to be from a community alarm company, checking in on the individual with an update.

They then inform people their existing alarm company has gone bust, and they are calling from the company who has taken over the contract.

The scammer, convincing a person of their legitimacy, then goes on to ask for payment to be made for services.

Some individuals have been told that if they do not pay, they risk having their alarm disconnected.

This is understandably worrying for many older and vulnerable people who rely upon a community alarm for their safety.

The community alarm system typically involves an alarm being fitted to a person’s home telephone.

They are then provided with an emergency button to wear around their neck or their wrist.

In a medical emergency, such as a fall or otherwise, the individual can press their button to alert others to their crisis.

The community alarm may then contact emergency services, a control centre, or a relative, depending on how that system works.

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However, the call is all part of a cruel scam tactic designed to get Britons to part with their cash.

The scam has been reported in Derbyshire, with the county council issuing a warning to stay alert.

Carol Hart, the council’s cabinet member for health and communities, said: “These calls have nothing to do with Derbyshire County Council or any company associated with us.

“Do not be afraid to simply hang up if you are unsure about the legitimacy of a call.

“Please be completely sure who you are dealing with before sending any money.”

Ms Hart said the county council would never ask for payment over the telephone.

Scams are sadly increasingly common, with con artists attempting to prey on those who are more vulnerable.

Age UK have provided tips for older individuals to help protect them from being scammed or defrauded.

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Firstly, individuals should never rush into anything, as if an offer sounds too good to be true, then it probably is.

Britons should also be wise to cold call scams, and ignore unsolicited invitations such as letters, emails or phone calls.

Conducting research on a company is also a sensible move to check they are reputable.

This can be done by looking for a contact number, postal address or membership of a trade association.

Finally, individuals should never feel embarrassed or ashamed of reporting a scam if it happens to them.

With the issue sadly ride, Britons can reach out to Action Fraud to get assistance.

It may also be worth contacting one’s bank directly using the number on the back of their card to stop any potential funds being transferred out. 

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