Hampshire Trading Standards Service have become aware of a suspicious telephone call being received by residents in the New Forest area who have community alarms, and would warn residents Countywide to be especially vigilant to such calls.

Reports suggest that the resident receives a telephone call from a company who says they have taken over from the resident’s existing community alarm monitoring company.

The resident is told that they must buy a new alarm, which has to be programmed with three trusted contacts.  The alarm will automatically call the three contacts in the event of an emergency.

The new alarm will be sent in the post and costs £149, payment is taken on the telephone.

There are serious safety implications involved with replacing community alarms, as the new alarms have no remote monitoring or back up in the event of an emergency.

Trading Standards would urge residents not to agree to purchase the new alarm over the telephone, and to make enquiries with their existing provider before agreeing to anything.

Residents have the legal right to cancel telephone purchases up until the time they receive the goods.  Once received, there is a 14 day cooling off period, starting the day after receipt of the goods, in which the goods can be returned for a refund (although the company ¬may be entitled to charge return postage).

For further advice or to report a suspicious telephone call, contact our partners at the Citizens Advice Consumer Helpline on 03454 05 06 07, or the Police on 101.

To help reduce unwanted telephone calls, residents can register their number for free with the Telephone Preference Service either online or by telephone 0345 070 0707.

Hampshire County Council Trading Standards Service
Montgomery House  Monarch Way
Winchester  Hampshire  SO22 5PW

Tel: 01962 833620
Fax: 01962 833698

E-mail: doorstep.crime@hants.gov.uk

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