Callers coldly press vulnerable people into unnecessary device covers

Vulnerable people are being targeted by cold callers and selling gear covers they don’t need (Getty)

Cold calling companies are put pressure on vulnerable people into getting covers for devices they don’t even own in some cases, under What?

Consumer groups say callers sit back and hope a monthly direct debit amount, such as £10 or £20, will keep their victim’s account unnoticed.

A survey of more than 1,300 which? members found that nearly a quarter received unexpected calls about home appliance insurance or extended warranties in the past year.

What? heard reports that callers let people know their existing cover is about to expire – even though they don’t have a policy or call claiming to be another well-known company.

Callers often have personal information that makes their target believe the call is genuine, Which one? speak.

A 92-year-old woman has paid £10,000 over a two-year period to multiple companies that claim to be providing breakdown covers for her washing machines and boilers – as well as dishwashers she doesn’t own. any? speak.

The companies claim to be offering various services, including insurance for clogged drains and loyalty programs.

In some cases, victims are sold for items they don’t own (Getty Images / Maskot)

What? reported its findings to National Trade Standards, which is investigating.

Consumer groups say that if a direct debit has been set up without someone’s permission, or they’ve been scammed, they should get their money back from their bank.

Which one does it say most people reported the problem for? refunded, but the process can be time-consuming and complicated.

The 92-year-old has been given most of her money back and hopes to have it all by the end of the year. speak.

It is urging people not to buy from cold callers selling equipment insurance or any other type of insurance.

Consumers interested in device cases should actively purchase them from regulated companies.

Any so-called device enclosure referrer can claim the company name and report it to the ICO (Information Commissioner’s Office) if it’s not regulated, Which one? speak.

Anyone inundated with cold calls, or whose family members are baffled by this problem, can also ask the phone network if it offers any of the call blocking services, some of which are free, it added.

Which consumer group? says that anyone who is tricked into paying can get their money back (Getty Images / Maskot)

Gareth Shaw, which one? head of currency, said: ‘If you or someone you know has been called cold about a device enclosure, ask for the name of the company and report it to the ICO. If you’re inundated with cold calls, ask your phone network if it offers any call blocking services. ‘

He added that which one? would like to see landline providers include their existing free protections in landline plans by default, adding: ‘Consumers don’t have to opt-in to get coverage. protection from unwanted cold calls.’

An ICO spokesperson said: ‘Unsolicited calls are at best a nuisance and in the worst case can cause real distress. Complaints about mis-selling white goods insurance are among the highest we receive and we encourage people to let us know when they get them.

Elderly people are often the target of these scams (Getty Images / iStockphoto)

‘The information people provide helps us track down violators and take action to prevent them from calling further and preventing others from doing the same. We also work collaboratively with other regulatory bodies, including Trading Standards and consumer groups, such as Which?, to penalize the companies and individuals behind these scams. .

‘This year we have handed out 19 fines totaling almost £2 million against companies responsible for making millions of nuisance calls and we will continue to act to protect them. protect the public.’

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Huynh Nguyen

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