Pensioners hit by cold calling scam

Notts residents are warned to be on their guard about a scam targeting pensioners across the country.

By The Newsroom
Saturday, 23rd February 2013, 8:13 am

Telephone cold callers have targeted elderly consumers to arrange home visits by salesman offering ‘free legal advice’.

The salesmen then demand an up-front fee of around £2,000 to set up a ‘trust’ which they falsely describe as a ‘foolproof’ way to ‘ring fence’ consumers’ homes and savings from being used to fund future care home fees.

In reality, trusts set up for this purpose can be challenged by the local authority and are unlikely to offer any financial protection at all. In some circumstances consumers may end up facing a hefty tax bill as the companies have not properly notified banks or the Inland Revenue.

Notts County Council’s Trading Standards is investigating several companies which have been operating in the county. Two have recently shut down, leaving consumers out of pocket without the products that they paid for and unable to obtain a refund.

Mark Hughes, trading standards manager at the county council, said: “We recommend people to ignore all cold callers to avoid being the victim of a scam.”

People who think they may be a victim should contact the Citizens Advice consumer helpline on 08454 040506.