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Alarm raised over telephone scam

Published: 30 June 2022

People are urged to be on their guard after reports that older and vulnerable residents across Derbyshire have received unsolicited calls claiming to be from a community alarm company.

Trading Standards officers have been made aware of several instances where the caller attempts to get residents to make a payment over the phone, telling them their existing alarm company has gone bust and they’ve taken over the contract.

Other examples of calls have claimed the resident’s community alarm will be disconnected unless they pay up immediately or asking to update card payment details.

Councillor Carol Hart, Derbyshire County 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.

“The county council would only ever communicate with people who have a community alarm by letter and certainly would never ask for payment over the telephone.

“The advice from our Trading Standards team is not to deal with anyone that phones you out of the blue.

“Do not be afraid to simply hang up if you are unsure about the legitimacy of a call and please be completely sure who you are dealing with before sending any money.”

Community alarms provide a monitoring service where the user wears a wristband or pendant to summon help if an alert is triggered.

For reassurance that their alarm is working properly, users can press their pendant button or the green button on the alarm unit.

Anyone who believes they may have already received one of these calls, have sent money to a company in these circumstances, or hear from them in the future should contact Citizens Advice Consumer Helpline, tel: 0808 223 1133.

Residents are also encouraged to sign up to the Telephone Preference Service (TPS), which allows them to opt out of unsolicited live sales and marketing calls.

Residents can also report any suspicious activity to Action Fraud tel: 0300 123 2040.