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Councillor warns against telephone fraudsters attempting to scam residents

PUBLISHED: 17:00 21 March 2018

A councillor is warning residents of a telephone scam that has been targeting people in Havering. Picture: PA Wire/PA Images/Philip Toscano

A councillor is warning residents of a telephone scam that has been targeting people in Havering. Picture: PA Wire/PA Images/Philip Toscano

PA Wire/PA Images/Philip Toscano

A councillor is warning residents to be wary of giving any personal details over the phone, as fraudsters have been targeting people in the borough.

A councillor is warning residents to be wary of giving any personal details over the phone, as fraudsters have been targeting people in the borough.

According to a number of Havering residents, scammers have been calling on numerous occasions over the past few months, claiming they are from the Telephone Preference Service (TPS) and that their subscription has run out.

During the phone call, they go on to ask if their telephone bill is paid by direct debit, confirm their bank account details and inform them that there is a one-off charge for the service.

Victims instead see monthly debits deducted from their accounts, which they have not authorised.

The fraudsters often target elderly victims.

Councillor Clarence Barrett, leader of the East Havering Residents’ Group and a Scambassador for Friends against Scams, said: “These fraudsters are driven by greed and have no moral compass whatsoever.

“Always be wary of providing personal information or even confirming that personal information the caller already claims to hold is correct.

“In respect of scam callers, call blockers can be very effective in combatting unwanted and nuisance calls.”

An Upminster resident, who wishes to remain anonymous, says he has been pestered by scammers.

He said: “We had a few last week and then eleven this week.

“If you don’t answer the phone they keep trying, I really shouted down the phone that I had checked with the service and it doesn’t run out and this is a scam - but that hasn’t stopped them.

“I am also aware that several of my friends have received similar calls.”

Cllr Barrett says a range of numbers are used, in particular 01922 233016 and 01922 233028, which you can check online whether it has a history of scams and nuisance calls.

He added: “Always be absolutely sure that you know who you are talking to.

“If in doubt hang up immediately.”

If you have been affected by this, or any other type of fraud, report it to Action Fraud by visiting actionfraud.police.uk or by calling 0300 123 2040.

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