OAP thwarts telly trickster

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A QUICK witted pensioner who thwarted a scamming TV repairman has warned her vulnerable peers to be vigilant.

Evelyn Robinson, 75, of Bolsover was called by a man claiming to be a television repairman, who said he needed payment over the phone for an upgrade to her equipment.

“I thought he was trying to sell me something at first so I put the phone down” said Evelyn. “He rang back again that afternoon and told me my TV was due for a renewal.”

But Evelyn - who worked as an electronics wire person at a company where they made televisions - suspected he was a fraudster.

“I told him I had got the equipment less than a year ago and it didn’t need replacing.”

She added: “Then I told him I have a Sky box that I pay £40 a month for, and he slammed the phone down.”

Although Evelyn doesn’t know anyone else affected by the scam she has warned others not to give over their bank details. “A lot of people who are old will give their bank details thinking they have to pay. The digital switchover is what they are doing it for.”

The BBC is offering a switchover help scheme, ensuring over 75’s and those registered disabled get help with the transition from an approved installer.

Help scheme worker, Cathy Lomax, said: “Not everyone finds it easy getting used to new equipment, but once you take the time to explain to someone how a new remote control works and how to access the new TV channels most people wonder why they were worried in the first place.”

Russ Dakin, community safety inspector for Chesterfield Police, said: “We would advise people never to provide their personal or financial information to anyone who calls unexpectedly on the phone, however plausible they may sound.

“If you think the call is genuine ask for authenticity details for the company and say you will call back on a publically listed telephone number. Any genuine company will be forthcoming with those details. If you are in doubt, end the call and inform the police.”

In the Chesterfield area, the first stage of the switchover is on August 10 2011. For more information, call 0800 4085900 or visit www.helpscheme.co.uk