The Safer New Forest Partnership is warning residents to be wary of suspicious phone calls after an elderly lady was targeted by fraudsters.
The New Forest pensioner, who lives alone, was bombarded with phone calls offering to find out if she had been mis-sold Payment Protection Insurance (PPI).
Eventually she agreed to let someone come and visit her at home, even though she had never had a loan, a credit card or taken out Payment Protection Insurance.
A man called at her home and persuaded her that she needed to sign some forms so that he could “recover the sum owed to her.” He told her she needed to give him £770 to cover the solicitor’s fees for the legal action.
He wouldn’t accept a cheque, but asked her to go to the One Stop local shop and get a money order so that he could “get everything sorted out” for her.
Luckily the staff at the shop realised what was going on and stopped her from losing her money.
Hythe and Dibden Parish Council Community Safety Officer Norman Bareham said: “If you have elderly or vulnerable neighbours, please keep an eye on them as his sort of thing is going on all the time.
“If you have been mis-sold PPI, it is a simple process to fill in a form and get it back for yourself, without involving a third party.”
Cllr Jill Cleary, NFDC portfolio holder for Housing and Communities, said: “This latest incident was a despicable act by fraudsters who prey on vulnerable people in our communities.
“I hope other residents will be put on their guard if they receive suspicious phone calls, doorstep sales or emails promising cash or other incentives.”
The Safer New Forest Partnership suggests residents may consider registering with the Telephone Preferential Service (TPS), which reduces, and in some cases completely eliminates, the nuisance calls you receive. Find out more online at tpsonline.org.uk/tps
You can contact Hampshire County Council’s Quick Response Team on 01962 833666 with concerns about local doorstep, phone or computer scams.
If you believe you have been the victim of an email scam, report the matter to your bank or card issuer as soon as possible. You can also contact Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040 or online at www.actionfraud.police.uk
Information about the work of the Safer New Forest Partnership can be found on www.communitysafety.newforest.gov.uk or contact Community Safety co-ordinator Stephanie Bennett on 023 8028 5588, email email@example.com