This message is dated Friday 12th October 2018 for Maidenhead.
FIRST: From Greg Nelson, in Trading Standards:
We are aware that some RBWM residents, have received fraudulent calls regarding Council Tax, from a company claiming to be working on behalf of the Council.
Could you please put out an Alert, saying that if anyone receives a call claiming to be from the Royal Borough regarding Council Tax, you can ensure it’s from us, by saying you will call them back via the RBWM switchboard, then put the phone down. If you do want to check with the Council, the number is 01628 683800
Residents should never make any payments, or give out any personal information to telephone callers, without being certain you know who you are speaking to. If in any doubt, just end the call.
If you think you have been affected by this, or if you have made a payment, you should contact the Citizens Advice Consumer Service on 03454 04 05 06.
They will provide the information that you need. All information provided to them, is passed on to Trading Standards for them to investigate
Thanks & regards
Trading Standards & Licensing Lead
Royal Borough of Windsor & Maidenhead
Trading Standards & Licensing
A week or so ago, I mentioned a case of an elderly woman, who was called in by her bank about unusual expenditure on her account. She had over several years, received cold calls on her phone about her security and agreed to have alarms installed and then been paying for increased monitoring charges.
Her details were passed to Honor Ryan at Trading Standards, who has done an enormous amount to sort this all out. She has sent me this report to update everyone - as a warning !
As a result of one unsolicited phone call, followed by a high pressure sales visit in the home (lasting 2 hours!), the resident, 81yrs at the time, signed up to a 5 year contract at £39.99 pcm, for an alarm system that she had not required.
The company, then proceeded to take other payments over the years, for guarantee covers and upgrades (also none of which she needed). 12 months into the initial contract, the company then persuaded the lady to extend her contract, for an additional 5 years - so 10 years in total, at £39.99pcm, taking her well into her 90s.
The total amount spent to date is £2,134.44 ! Trading Standards, are now involved in ensuring that the contract is cancelled with immediate effect and through assisting this lady, have discovered that she is also the victim of other common scams, such as roof insulation (£1200), telephone call blocking services (£159), and doorstep traders doing her garden for cash in hand (£80 each time).
This type of crime is happening to people in their own homes and going undetected, for years.
This lady does not have any immediate family or close friends to look out for her – please read this and consider whether you have a vulnerable relative, who may have signed up to such deals and may have regular amounts coming out of their bank accounts.
I am always available to help in cases of cold calling doorstep selling.
Thanks you Honor. In this case, after the first cold call, they came and fitted the alarms the next day. She will have had 14 days to have cancelled this and get the alarms removed, but she would not have known this !
This sounds like a perfect case of a ‘Call Blocker’ phone. These are easily and cheaply available and just plug into your phone socket. You enter phone numbers into the database, which are accepted - doctors, hospitals, banks, neighbours, friends and family. Only those callers with a number in the database get through immediately.
Anyone not on that list, receives an automated message that all calls to that number are monitored, please leave your name. The owner then gets a call to say that X is on the line, will they accept the call. They can press one button to say yes and add that number to the list of acceptable callers, or no - in which case that number is blocked and will never get through again.
It is a very simple device and at my meetings, everyone who has one, says they are brilliant and cuts out all unwanted callers.
11/10 Thursday 2.15 p.m. - 6.30 p.m. Leisure Pool Car Park. Locked up bike stolen. A Carrera Vengeance mountain bike.
10/10 Wednesday 6.30 p.m. / 7.30 p.m. College Avenue. Engineer working on electrical box beside the road’s van entered while he was working. Rucksack & contents including wallet, diary and Laptop stolen.
RIVERSIDE & BELMONT:
11/10 Thursday 3 p.m. / 3.30 p.m. Church Car Park, Cookham Road. Car found three tyres slashed.
BISHAM, COOKHAM, HURLEY, THE WALTHAMS, LITTLEWICK GREEN & KNOWL HILL:
NO CRIME TO REPORT.
PINKNEYS GREEN & FURZE PLATT:
10/10 Wednesday midnight / 12.30 p.m. Blenheim Road. Brick thrown through car passenger window. Glove box searched - nothing stolen.
11/10 Thursday midnight / 1.40 p.m. Aldebury Road. The owner left their car running on the driveway with the keys in the ignition, while they went in and out loading it up. When they came out it had been stolen. A black, Range Rover index RV ** HNX
BOYN HILL, COX GREEN & WOODLANDS PARK:
10/10 Wednesday 7 p.m. Lees Gardens. Attempted garage break. Door damaged, but no entry gained.
OLDFIELD & BRAY:
NO CRIME TO REPORT.
I am afraid the PEC are slow to answer at the moment - hence my recommendation that you let us know using the online reporting system:
Eyes and ears.....................and brain
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