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Protecting against phone scammers

Lawson58

Registered User
Aug 1, 2014
2,887
0
Victoria, Australia
Dear Lawson,

"I don’t live in Europe but I don’t believe here you can be forced to pay ILLEGAL or falsely acquired debts, or re pay money that others have obtained illegally."
I think you slightly miss the point here, the scammers are not doing anything illegal BUT they are getting agreements out of our PWD to enter into a contract without them realizing it and then sending them the contract/agreement by post with the possibility to cancel by specific dates which in reality become very difficult for a PWD to do.

I'll give you an example. I wanted to call my sister, she was engaged, I looked up on my account BT.COM who was calling her. I saw that the number had been associated with "appliance scams", so I tried to call my sister again.
She was on for at least 8 mins before I finally got through to her, and told her. I asked her what he had wanted? On nothing, my address I think, nothing else I asked? No? A few days later, such an agreement arrived at my sisters, pre-warned, I had asked the trusted friends to keep their eyes open. They copied it to me. There was a number to cancel, I actually after a while managed to get through. I told them that as PoA I did not agree with setting up this agreement. The response was, "we recorded the conversation and our analysts gave the green light that my sister appeared of sound mind". My sister often used to sound quite lucid yet repetitive on the phone. I said, as PoA with responsibility for her I don't agree. Finally, I sent them a copy of a few pages of the PoA and only then did they back off. But in the meantime the Direct Debit had been set up but nothing yet taken, so I deleted it.
After that I just deleted the Direct Debit which popped up from another company, but since then things are very quiet.

So you see, they are doing nothing illegal, just ripping off the PWD in their vulnerable state. Yes, there is something in the UK called the Direct Debit Guarantee, but they are more skilled in fighting this than we are in fighting for our rights and trying to get money back, in the meantime another month passes, and another DD is paid out.

Re: Credit Cards, I have credit cards in the UK (since 55 years), Switzerland and Germany and never paid for any of them nor paid interest on outstanding amounts, since I always pay off my debts and never use them for "effectively borrowing money I don't have".

I'm sorry if what I have written makes your mind boggle as you put it, I have tried to simplify it to taking precautions about protecting against scam callers. Back in 2016, my sister had no sign of dementia, but in June this year when I was there I came across old records where someone had in fact sold her a 99 Pound yearly contract for a software to stop wait for it, scam callers! But she had read a warning in the Saga magazine about this and had tried to cancel it, she had scribbled on the back of the envelope all the calls she had made - not reachable etc... Finally, she could cancel it, since it would have worked for her anyway.

Over the past years I estimate my sister is about 3000 pounds light because of scammers, initially all small amounts, which increased as months went on. I fought a few, had minimal success, I spent 30 hrs one month in 2020 on International Phone Calls, Switzerland to the UK, fortunately I have a cheaper phone system I use. It was wearing me out. I wasn't sleeping well. I needed protection I could rely on. That is what I did.

Your hubby is lucky to have you near at hand to deal with the financial matters. Maybe in Australia, things are different, but the UK has one of the worst reputations worldwide, I believe in the case of scamming PWDs.
We have it here in Switzerland, I have, of course, full access to my phones and block and report any attempted scam, maybe I get 1 / month now not even that, it used to be much more. If I have time and am bored, I keep them busy for a while until they get fed up and move on, thus having protected someone else during this time, but usually I am brutal, block and report them.

The bottom line is what you take from the information I am putting out there. I have found myself in a way in a personal war zone against the scammers, and I have vowed to do all I can to make their lives more difficult. But now things are much easier for me with the strategy I have followed. I now for example have time to pass this information on.

In the meantime, the care of my sister has moved to a different phase, 24x7 1hr in the morning, 30 mins in the evening to make sure she gets up and eats 2x a day. I have an online Log of each visit. This I need to check sometimes in case there are worrying items. But at least all the finances are under control.
It is illegal here for anyone to sign or create a contract with a person who does not have capacity to do so. That is the whole simple point.

We had a huge Royal Commission a couple of years ago and the Banks and insurance companies were among the biggest scammers of all. They all used financial advisors who were happily signing up disabled people, PWD, minors, even dead people for certain products resulting in huge profits.

One enormous insurance company almost went broke and many companies and banks had to pay massive fines and compensation to their victims. And a few heads rolled.
 

GROCKLE

Registered User
Jul 7, 2021
45
0
74
Switzerland
Dear Lawson,

Of course, I believe it would be illegal in most places to create a contract with a person who does not have capacity to do so. But do scammers obey rules, I don't believe so, they bend them. My concern is for PWD who live alone and friends and relatives have to somehow protect them from these scrupulous persons. As I experienced with my sister's case, 8 mins was sufficient, maybe some groundwork had been done on another occasion, but the fact remains that a person with dementia is unable to remember what happened 2 mins previously. Maybe she did sound competent and lucid on the phone, but she knew nothing about what she had done. I had to stop it from remote, I was fast enough, and with a little help from a 3rd person locally, but it took extra time and effort.
By the sound of things, you are a protective shield for your PWD. If you are always present, that is great. But there are people caring for their PWD who are not omnipresent and have to rely on other methods. There is an old saying "
"Closing the stable door after the horse has bolted" - better to have locked it beforehand. Take all precautions possible to stop the scammers getting to your PWD via the phone system. This is all I'm saying.
To rely on the financial rules and laws at the back end is an additional protection. But if one can find a way to stop it even going that far in the first place, you will sleep better. I do.

Now I just need to worry whether the daily carer can get into the house because my sister has locked the door and left the key in the lock and disappeared into the bathroom for 30 mins. I need really an internet remotely controlled door lock. ;)
 

Grannie G

Volunteer Moderator
Apr 3, 2006
76,278
0
Kent
Now I just need to worry whether the daily carer can get into the house because my sister has locked the door and left the key in the lock and disappeared into the bathroom for 30 mins. I need really an internet remotely controlled door lock.
I had this problem with my husband and found the solution in a euro cylinder lock

No complications. Easy to fix as long as the measurements are accurate


XFORT® Chrome 35T/35 Thumb Turn Euro Cylinder Lock (70mm), Euro Door Barrel Lock with 3 Keys, Anti-Bump, Anti-Drill, Anti-Pick Door Lock with Key, High Security for Wooden, UPVC and Composite Doors.​



#1 Best Seller in Lock Cylinders

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Cylinder-A...rds=euro+cylinder+lock&qid=1659788249&sr=8-3#
  1. XFORT® Chrome 35T/35 Thumb Turn Euro Cylinder Lock (70mm), Euro Door Barrel Lock with 3 Keys, Anti-Bump, Anti-Drill, Anti-Pick Door Lock with Key, High Security for Wooden, UPVC and Composite Doors.

 

GROCKLE

Registered User
Jul 7, 2021
45
0
74
Switzerland
Many thanks for this info, euro cylinder lock, I will check it out. Currently, it is a Yale lock on the kitchen door and I don't know whether I can have a euro cylinder lock fitted, I will try and sort this out the next time I go over.
 

Grannie G

Volunteer Moderator
Apr 3, 2006
76,278
0
Kent
They can be fitted to all doors and if locked on the inside by the knob they can still be unlocked from the outside using the key.

My husband was always locking me out when he thought I was an intruder. This was a perfect solution
 

nitram

Registered User
Apr 6, 2011
25,451
0
North Manchester
Thank you @nitram. Let’s hope something is available for all doors.
Not if it is this type of key
+jo8QH+CN39VwZxdQDM1xw.png

@GROCKLE said yale lock so there is hope, it just needs to use euro cylinder locks.

The clue to a euro cylinder is the screw holding it in

images.jpg
 
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GROCKLE

Registered User
Jul 7, 2021
45
0
74
Switzerland
Thanks for this very useful tip, it is a Yale like this, so I am asking a local locksmith
20220807_113537.jpg

It would be an excellent solution to the current occasional lockout problem.
It's just a simple kitchen door which can be locked/unlocked with the key on the outside and the inside, So I'm hoping the Euro Cylinder solution fits.
With just a knob to turn to lock the door on the inside, we will have a phycological problem though, "Where is my key for the kitchen door" question. "You don't need one now, just turn it", "Oh" and 2 mins later, "I can't find my key". It will take a while, but at least the carers can then enter.
 
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nitram

Registered User
Apr 6, 2011
25,451
0
North Manchester
If it was just a case of leaving inside key in the lock it should be easy to fix.
If it was a deadlock with key turned it would need either the outside or inside cylinder changing so the keys are different and the key for inside being lost.
76112.jpg


Locking the inside prevents the lever being used to open the door and protects against entry by breaking a glass pane and accessing the lever.

Thumbturn euro cylinders are liked by fire and rescue because they lessen the chance of somebody being trapped in a fire, they are not liked by some insurance companies because they provide an quick and easy exit for thieves carrying bulky objects that are difficult to get through the small, maybe upstairs, window they got in through.
 

GROCKLE

Registered User
Jul 7, 2021
45
0
74
Switzerland
I had this problem with my husband and found the solution in a euro cylinder lock

No complications. Easy to fix as long as the measurements are accurate


XFORT® Chrome 35T/35 Thumb Turn Euro Cylinder Lock (70mm), Euro Door Barrel Lock with 3 Keys, Anti-Bump, Anti-Drill, Anti-Pick Door Lock with Key, High Security for Wooden, UPVC and Composite Doors.​



#1 Best Seller in Lock Cylinders

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Cylinder-A...rds=euro+cylinder+lock&qid=1659788249&sr=8-3#
  1. XFORT® Chrome 35T/35 Thumb Turn Euro Cylinder Lock (70mm), Euro Door Barrel Lock with 3 Keys, Anti-Bump, Anti-Drill, Anti-Pick Door Lock with Key, High Security for Wooden, UPVC and Composite Doors.

Euro Cylinder Lock​

Thanks to the information about this from Grannie G & @nitram, I contacted a locksmith at the weekend and a trusted friend visited and photographed my sister's kitchen door lock today which I exchanged with the locksmith via WhatsApp, and he said he could already install the Euro Cylinder Lock tomorrow morning.
All arranged at a time when a carer will be there with full instructions about the keys, one for my sister, the others in the key and pill safes. Thank you everybody for your advice.
I'm happier, the carer team are happier, trusted friends are happier.
We told my sister it's for her safety, so she can get out easily in case of fire, and also that the carers can enter in case she forgets and leaves the key in the lock. She understood, whether she still understands tomorrow?

It actually comes at a good time, at the end of the week the Fire Brigade are making a safety check on the property.
Having this easily undoable lock instead of a key in a panic situation is better than fumbling with a key. Also, in the event of that not working and the key safe code not being known, then a simple window can be broken, and the door opened. 🙏
I just heard, task completed without complications :)
 
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