NE Scotland, Orkney & Shetland

Warning over Aberdeen phone scammer

Phone conversation (posed) Image copyright PA

Aberdeen residents have been warned about a scammer who phoned members of the public claiming to be from the city council.

Residents alerted the council's trading standards team after becoming suspicious of the calls, which were made from a mobile phone.

They were asked for personal information under the guise of taking part in a survey.

The mobile number from which the calls were made is no longer operational.

Trading standard officers confirmed that none of those who were called appeared to have given out any personal information.

They said that anyone concerned that they may have divulged personal information should contact Citizens Advice Consumer Service National Advice.

Confirm identity

Aberdeen City Council said: "Council officers do occasionally use mobile phones to contact residents - however, they will always provide alternative contact details, which residents can use to verify the identification of the caller.

"Anyone who receives a call from someone claiming to be from Aberdeen City Council whom they have not spoken to before or are in any way suspicious of should ask for the caller's full name, job title, and service they work for. Advise them that you intend to telephone the council to confirm their identity.

"Alternatively, folk called by a suspected scammer should ask for the name and contact telephone number of their line manager.

"In any event, people should never give personal or financial information to someone who cold calls on the telephone and if in any doubt hang up."

Moray Council's trading standards team has also issued a warning to householders to be aware of unscrupulous doorstep traders who post flyers offering services such as household repairs or garden clearance.

They warned that these traders often use misleading or intimidating practices to obtain large amounts of money.

Vulnerable consumers, particularly the elderly, are most often targeted.

Cold calls

Householders have been advised to never agree to employ a trader who cold calls at their home.

It warned: "Doorstep sellers are often trained in pressure sales techniques and they can be very persuasive. The best protection course of action is to say 'No thank you' and close the door.

"Common complaints include poor quality of work, quoting a low initial price which goes up significantly because of 'extra work' needed, or exaggerating the risks that consumers face if they do not get repairs carried out.

"Householders who think that work is needed to their property should get quotes from two or three traders or ask someone trustworthy for a recommendation."

The organisation also appealed to the public to report any suspected rogue traders.

It said: "Many instances of doorstep crime remain unreported because victims are embarrassed, they don't know who to report it to, or they do not even realise they have been the victim of a crime."