Cold calls are vulnerable to direct debit scam
A survey by the Which? revealed how cold calls defraud thousands of pounds from vulnerable people using direct debit scams.
A survey of 1,300 members found that a quarter had received unexpected calls about home appliance insurance and extended warranties in the past year, which turned out to be false. Pressure selling tactics are being used to convince individuals – usually older people – to accept a direct debit of Â£ 10-20 a month, which criminals hope they won’t notice.
92-year-old grandmother has paid more than Â£ 10,000 over two years to several companies claiming to provide breakdown cover for her washing machine and boiler, as well as a dishwasher she didn’t own not even.
If a direct debit has been set up without your permission or if you have been duped, you have the right to get all the money back from your bank.
However, banks have been pushing for other sectors – such as telecom companies and internet service providers – to share the rising costs of repaying customers.
As a result of the investigation, trade standards officers are working with the Office of the Information Commissioner (ICO) to tackle companies that make sales calls without permission to use the data. But the ICO only has the power to fine companies for violations, rather than prosecute them.