Trading Standards warning residents of solar panel tele-sales calls
Posted on December 16, 2014
Central Bedfordshire Council's Trading Standards team is warning residents to be extra vigilant when answering the telephone and finding the caller is offering a free survey for the installation of solar panels.
Trading Standards have received a spate of recent reports from residents who have received these calls, whereby the caller claims to be calling from the "Bedfordshire (or Bedford) Advice Centre" and attempts to entice you into having a survey carried out by one of their agents.
The callers appear to be focusing on Leighton Buzzard and the surrounding area and in some cases have informed residents during the call that an agent is currently on their way to the resident's home. When challenged by one resident who wished to make a complaint, the caller gave another resident's telephone number, who unsurprisingly knew nothing about the call.
Officers have been unable to identify or locate any organisation called the "Bedfordshire (or Bedford) Advice Centre" and therefore believe these calls have all the hallmarks of a scam.
A Council spokesperson said "Although the offer may appear enticing, by all appearances, these calls appear to be an elaborate scam trying to obtain either your financial or personal details."
"Callers will try to offer you an opportunity that shouldn't be missed, and they will try and intimidate you into making a hasty decision, for instance, the offer is only available for a limited time or their agents are only in the area for a few days. If you are interested in having solar panels fitted to your home, our advice would be to shop around by contacting legitimate local businesses and never take what an unsolicited tele-sales caller tells you for granted."
The Trading Standards team advises when receiving such calls to:
- Never pay money or give your bank account or credit card details over the phone;
- Never give your personal details, such as your age, date of birth, or home –ownership;
- Never be intimidated into making a quick decision;
- Never express an interest, by asking the caller to call back later, as you may be identified as a possible target for a future scam attempt.
If you receive one of these calls or think you may have been targeted by any other type of scam, please report it to Trading Standards on 03454 040506.
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