Wigan councillor warns residents after being targeted by con artists

A Wigan councillor is warning residents to stay vigilant for bogus callers after he was targeted by scammers himself then tried to turn the tables on them.

Thursday, 24th October 2019, 9:42 am
Coun Paul Collins urges residents to stay vigilant over cold calls

Paul Collins, who represents Shevington with Lower Ground, was the would-be victim of a recent cold call in which a conman tried to get him to part with his bank account details in exchange for saving money on his telephone bill.

Coun Collins said: “I recently received a call from someone claiming to be from the Ofcom protection service, where the caller first made several attempts to verify that I was an elderly pensioner and once I convinced them that I was, they then went on to offer me a free service to protect my phone from scams and told me that I would receive 25 per cent discount from all my future phone bills.

“To do this they said they needed to validate my credit card details.

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Coun Collins, who represents Shevington with Lower Ground

“At this point I ended the call and made a report on the Action Fraud website.”

He went on: “It was quite worrying that around 75 per cent of the population have at some point been approached by scammers, who can sound quite convincing, are clearly targeting vulnerable people and they can often have a targets personal details that they may have obtained illegally.

“So I would like to re-iterate my warning to never ever give any financial or personal details to cold callers in response to calls, emails or text messages etc.

“I saw an interesting article on the Which? website recently where they outlined 10 common scams in 2018. Which included ticketing scams, pension scams, investment scams, phone, text and email scams, money mules, contactless card ‘skimming’, fake goods on auction sites, copycat websites, employment scams and tech support scams.”

No-one should receive legitimate phone calls asking for details that could give the caller access to a bank account.

Which? magazine said that residents should never disclose the following details over the phone:

l The four-digit card Pin to anyone, including the bank or police;

l Full password or online banking codes;

l Personal details, unless you are sure who you are talking to.

More information on scams can be found at actionfraud.police.uk. You can also report any suspicious trading activity to Wigan Council’s Trading Standards team at wigan.gov.uk