Sidmouth pensioner warns of phone scam


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A Sidmouth pensioner is warning residents to beware of a hoax phone salesman claiming to sell a service that can prevent nuisance calls.

Gloria Tanner, 77, was not fooled when a ‘persuasive’ man called offering her a deal to install a call preference system which he said would stop scammers.

She said the man claimed to represent all of the telephone providers and said the call service would be a one off payment of £89 – a special price for pensioners.

He first rang on Wednesday (September 20) and made a follow up call the next day.

Mrs Tanner said: “He was very convincing and persuasive. He was calling to tell us that we could have call preference as ours was now running out and we should renew it at a special pensioner price of £89.

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“I had a really awful job trying to get him off the phone and had to put the phone down.”

Aware that it was a scam, and that the man had contacted her daughter-in-law, Mrs Tanner reported the incidents to TalkTalk and Action Fraud.

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She added: “We have done all we can to stop him. Hopefully we can warn the people of Sidmouth and they will be ready if he calls them.”

As part of its beat the scammers’ national awareness campaign, phone provider TalkTalk has issued a guide to protect customers from scammers.

A spokesman said: “Phone, email and online scams are unfortunately a serious and growing problem affecting people and companies across the UK, not just TalkTalk. We’re determined to continue to play our part in combating the growing problem to ensure other customers are not put in the same situation.”

TalkTalk’s advice for handling a scam call includes:

Hang up - Think calmly about what you are being told, ask yourself if it makes sense. Don’t give out any personal details. If it feels wrong, hang up.

Make tea - Making a cup of tea is the perfect opportunity to get away from the phone, pause and reflect on what to do next.

Call back - If the caller claimed to be from a company, call the official number (not the number you were called by) and ask whether they’ve called you. If they didn’t they can help you report it.

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