You can’t be too careful of scams

From: Dick Carrington, Broad Oak Lane, Bexhill

As we are now into National Scams Awareness Month, your readers may be interested in hearing about the following unsolicited phone call that I received recently.

It was from a person who said he represented a firm called Guaranteed Telecom acting on behalf of the Telephone Preference Service.

The TPS is a service designed to filter out nuisance telehone calls.

He told me that on payment of £21.99 I could receive lifetime protection under the scheme .

But when he asked whether my debit card was still valid I became suspicious so I ended the call and cancelled the debit card soon afterwards.

I subsequently found out that the TPS scheme is, in fact, free so I was right to be wary.

But a week later I discovered that without my knowledge a Direct Debit mandate had been set up on my bank account and the scammer had helped himself to the £21.99.

I cannot explain how he was able to do this without my authority nor, strangely, can the bank, but I cancelled the mandate immediately and the money was refunded.

I fear that this could have been a trial run before the caller stole a much larger sum of money from my account, as it seems that this particular scam has been going on for at least six months and many other people have been caught out by it.

I strongly recommend Googling and entering the number 0203012345 where 20 other victims describe how they were conned by someone claiming to represent the Guaranteed Telecom Company, as I nearly was.

It just goes to show, you can’t be too careful.