Readers' letters - July 7

A tough world out there with scam sharks abound

Friday, 13th July 2018, 12:01 pm
Updated Monday, 16th July 2018, 5:14 pm
We always have to be aware of scams says a correspondent

Anyone had any of those scam calls lately, with an automated message announcing in an American accent that your BT/Talk Talk landline, internet or broadband is soon to be terminated due to “interference from California”? Seemingly the objective is to get you straight online only to be told you’re being hacked, then expecting you to pay a king’s ransom to resolve it. Yeah, right!There are also reams of junk mail, too, and door to door salesmen who are so persistent that you virtually have to beat them off with a stick! They really pile on the pressure, giving you a load of rubbish about how the offer ends at midnight, they’re only in the area for a limited period – and so on!When I was younger and dafter, I remember calling a phone-a-medium line and was told, “Can you wait a minute, luv, the medium’s just gone to the toilet”! At first, I was prepared to believe she’d been taken short, but as the minutes ticked by, I started to wonder. Maybe she really was psychic! So much so that she realised I was ringing and decided to do a runner. Or, more likely, she was in a back room having a fag, glorifying in all the money she was accumulating the longer I stayed on the line. When she finally materialised, she declared I had a departed relative and his name! Nothing like a safe bet! I’m sure there are genuine psychics out there, but these pranksters give them a bad name. There are so many vulnerable, often elderly, people being ripped off big time by such individuals. Unfortunately, as soon as one scam is busted another one crops up, so it’s an ongoing process. All we can do is to keep a constant alert. It’s a tough, tough world out there and sharks abound!CM LanganAddress supplied

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Taking action on empty homesThe Liberal Democrats have pressurised the Conservative government to take decisive action on empty houses, by giving new powers to councils.Under pressure from the Liberal Democrats, the government has accepted the principle of an amendment from Liberal Democrats Peers, Baroness Pinnock and Lord Shipley, to set in place an escalator of council tax charges. This would mean that the longer the property was left empty, the more council tax would have to be paid. This follows on from the speech by the party leader, Vince Cable, who called for an increase in council tax for properties that have deliberately been left empty.We are pleased that the government has finally listened and accepted the Liberal Democrat amendment in the House of Lords. This is an important step in tackling the housing crisis. The housing crisis is a human crisis, with thousands of people unable to afford a home of their own, trapped in temporary accommodation or, worse, sleeping on the streets. And by bringing more empty properties into use, this helps save precious green belt from development.Kamran HussainLiberal DemocratsSqueezing more tax from us

I know that politicians are expected to go around promising the earth if we will offer them our vote. I had hoped that by now the voters would have sussed out the false promises, but if the polls are to be believed, this is not the case. Is it possible that the polls are yet another way the wealthy and powerful elite can manipulate the voting public? The same kind of people who have come up with a new idiotic slogan “work is the way out of poverty”.If this slogan had read “real jobs for real wages are the way out of poverty”, I would have cheered. Part-time jobs, the rising cost of living and miserly interest for small savers means that around 20 million “workers” cannot afford to retire. I wonder how many are also aware that they cannot afford to die. The Tories have introduced (2020) a £100 death tax to be added to already overpriced funeral costs. They are now about to tell us we will have to pay another tax for the NHS.The different ways of squeezing taxes from us grows longer and longer.R Pearsonvia emailHonour soldier with award

Re: Campaign to restore VC hero’s grave (WP July 5).I respect all soldiers and have several family members buried in France from the First World War but I can’t see the point of spending money on this. Nobody will visit the grave, this is why it’s in a poor state.Instead put the money to something that will bear the soldier’s name, for example an Alfred Wilkinson VC sports award that can be awarded for years and years to come. Alan Darbyshirevia Wigan Post Facebook