Elsie gives cold caller the cold shoulder thanks to training session

When Elsie took part in scam awareness training with PCH, little did she know she’d be putting her new-found knowledge to good use just hours later.

Quick-thinking Elsie successfully fended off telephone tricksters who tried to convince her she’d overpaid her council tax.

Elsie soon wised up to the caller when she remembered that she’d already been credited for last year’s overpayment.

She sent the caller packing and reported the incident to her Housing with Support officer who informed Plymouth City Council’s Trading Standards team.

It was only hours earlier that Elsie had attended an awareness event about scams which was one of nine sessions held at our Housing with Support schemes last month.

Elsie said: “When I got the call, I thought at first they were testing us to see if we’d been listening to the presentation! Then I remembered I’d received a credit for my council tax and wondered why they were phoning me.

“I told the woman I was busy and had someone coming to visit and she’d have to phone back but she never did.

“I often get calls telling me there’s a virus on my computer. I let them tell me all about it and then say I don’t actually have a computer.

“The scam awareness session was very good and we were given some useful leaflets to take away.”

Kat Wellock, our Housing with Support administrator, organised the sessions after attending a similar one arranged for PCH staff earlier in the year.

Kat said: “It’s something that needed to be talked about in our Housing with Support schemes - nationally the average age of scam victims is 74, however in Plymouth the average age is 72. It was important to advise our residents that there are people in the Plymouth area who have fallen victim to scammers and as there is no typical scam victim, anyone can be caught out.

“The course I went to was run by Tina Powell from Trading Standards so I asked her if she’d mind running the sessions for PCH. Tina was happy to talk to residents and provide examples of the most frequently seen scams as well as sharing the stories of local scam victims. Figures show that Plymouth residents have lost £500,000 through scams – and those are just the ones we know about.

“Tina covered all the different types of scams – postal, phone and online and also included online romance.

“The events were a success. They were well attended and people were really engaged.

“The fact that Elsie questioned what she was being told on the phone is a result and shows the training has already been beneficial.

“If something is too good to be true, it usually is. If you’re in doubt about a call or email come and speak to us and we can look into it.”

 Speak to your Housing with Support worker or Housing Officer or call us on 0808 230 6500.