Friday, May 11, 2012

Update on cold callers + bogus official warning

We posted in April about the EON rep who was using rather unconventional methods to sign up new customers. Jim in Farrer House wrote to Lewisham Trading Standards about it. When he didn't get an acknowledgement of his email, he contacted Crossfields' Estate's new Tenancy Officer, Kerrie Taylor*, who got in touch with Trading Standards on Jim's behalf. This prompted a reply on 1st May from the Senior Trading Standards Enforcement Officer, Duncan Brand.

Mr Brand apologised for his tardy response and said he would be contacting EON. He requested that if Jim knew anyone who has signed up to EON as a result of this salesman's tactics then they should "contact the Citizens Advice Consumer Advice Service on 08454 040506 for advice about their rights. If there is a breach of the legislation we enforce they will pass the details to us. Finally, if you would like a No Cold Calling sticker to display on your property then let me know." Jim was tempted to tell Mr Brand where to stick his sticker.

Bogus official operating

Soon after, Crosswhatfields received an alert from the Met Police on 4th May (our apologies for this late posting). The police warning is seemingly unconnected to the EON story, but the advice line number given at the bottom (Consumer Direct) is the same as the one given above.
Lewisham Police and Lewisham Council are again urging residents especially the vulnerable to be on their guard following three burglaries today (04.04.12) where the suspects have  professed to be working on behalf of the council.

Residents are reminded that anyone from Lewisham Council, Lewisham Homes or the Police will always have official documentation or ID to prove who they are.

Bogus callers succeed because they sound believable, so don't be fooled. Make sure in your own mind that they are whom they claim to be by following these simple steps:
  • Think before you open the door – use your chain and spy hole or look out of the window to see if you recognise them.
  • Ask callers for proof of identity. Genuine tradesmen should carry an identification card with their photograph on. Check this carefully. If you are unsure, telephone the company the caller claims to represent. 
  • The Utilities now offer a password identification system. Any caller from one of these companies should be able to give a pre-arranged password as additional proof of identity. 
  • Beware of callers who attempt to distract you by claiming that they have seen something untoward in your rear garden or somewhere which may encourage you to leave your house – they may have an accomplice awaiting this distraction. 
  • If you are not convinced of the identity of the caller, don't let them in. Ask the caller to come back later and arrange for a friend, relative or neighbour to be present on their return or ask the caller to contact this person. 
  • All police officers carry a warrant card with their name, rank & photograph. To confirm an officer’s identity the public are encouraged to dial Lewisham Police on 101 or contact your local Safer Neighbourhoods Team
For more information about what to do about cold callers or to report a persistent cold caller, contact Consumer Direct on 08454 040506.

Residents wishing to find out more information about cold calling zones can contact Lewisham Council Trading Standards on 020 8314 7759. 
Safer Neighbourhoods Team
* Contact Kerrie Taylor (Lewisham Homes Tenancy Plus Officer):
020 863 4802 / 07710 387942  Email

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