TIM DREW: Important information to avoid phone scams

Tim Drew
Tim Drew

Action Fraud has recently advised of a scam whereby the fraudsters cold-call victims while pretending to represent one of the well-known UK telecommunication service providers.

They claim to be offering a ‘telephone preference service’ – an enhanced call-barring service, which includes barring international call centres.

The crooks ask victims to confirm/provide their bank account details, informing 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. In all instances, direct debits are set up without following proper procedure. The victim is not sent written confirmation of the direct debit instruction, which is supposed to be sent within three days.

On occasions when victims attempted to call back, the telephone number provided by the fraudster either could not be reached or the victim’s direct debit cancellation request was refused.

The real Telephone Preference Service, which is the official central opt-out register on which you can record your preference not to receive unsolicited sales or marketing calls, never charges for registration. You can register for this service at www.tpsonline.org.uk.

You will receive postal confirmation of genuine direct debits. If you notice unauthorised payments leaving your account, you should contact your bank promptly.

Always be wary of providing personal information. If you are unsure as to the identity of the caller, Action Fraud’s advice is to hang up immediately. If you have been affected by this, or any other type of fraud, report it to Action Fraud by visiting www.actionfraud.police.uk or by calling 0300 123 2040.

The East Worthing Neighbourhood Panel will meet on at 6.30pm at the East Worthing Community Centre on Tuesday. The current problems in Meadow Road will be under discussion, so attendance by residents thus affected will be welcomed.

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