84 year old man loses £10,000 in cold calling sales nightmare
A vulnerable 84 year old man who was bombarded with nuisance sales calls has ended up losing £10,000 in just nine months.
Brian Green, from Ware in Hertfordshire, was targeted by more than 12 nuisance cold-callers and companies, resulting in him paying out over £10,000 for products he didn’t need.
This was only discovered when his nephew saw his uncle’s current account online, and it contained a list of payments to companies he didn’t recognize.
Mr Green was called on his home number and convinced to buy solar panels, duplicate insurance policies for his TV and washing machine – and to make matters even worse - they even sold him a device to help him block nuisance phone calls!
This led to him paying out £10,481 over nine months. Almost £7,000 of this was for a solar panel system installed in his house, a two-bedroom semi-detached home in Hertfordshire. There were also various maintenance costs added to this initial sale.
Mr Green, who was in the Royal Artillery, had saved diligently for his retirement, and after retiring aged 65 receives around £1,300 per month for his pension.
Baroness Ros Altmann, a champion for older workers, has called for the Government to ban all direct marketing calls.
Caroline Abrahams, charity director at Age UK, told This Is Money, “We know unscrupulous companies target older people who may be living alone, isolated and living with physical or mental health conditions.”
Brian, although not diagnosed with dementia is a vulnerable person, and doesn’t remember agreeing to these items being sold to him. However, the solar panel firm, Think Green Partners, have only refunded a £175 of the total £2,800 it took from his account. Other companies are investigating his case.
This story can be held as a warning for older people and their families, who should regularly check transactions to make sure they are not paying for items mis-sold to them.
It is also wise to make sure you register your home on a ‘do not call’ list with the telephone preference service.
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