“Don’t fall for it, like I did.”

Elderly woman wearing glasses using a mobile phone

Last year, a whopping 75% of adults were targeted by a scam and this figure is on the rise. We’re hearing more and more stories from our customers where they’ve being pressured to act quickly, send personal information or money, or tempted with offers that sound too good to be true.

If you’re contacted by someone claiming to be working for us, the council, or any other organisation, we would urge you to verify their ID. If they’re genuine, they won’t mind waiting while you check them out. Remember, all members of Grand Union staff will carry an ID card and will provide evidence of this when they visit a property – if in doubt, please ask for their ID.

We’re sorry to hear that some of our customers have been taken advantage of recently. We really don’t want it happening to anyone else, which is why Anne* was keen to share her experience.

Anne is in her 70s and has been a customer of ours for many years. Over a month ago, she starting receiving phone calls from someone claiming to be working with her local council, offering to help get any repairs sorted.

Anne said no. But the person was not put off; they rang her more than 20 times.

“They wouldn’t leave me alone! I’ve no idea how they got my number, but they just kept on calling me.”

In the end, Anne agreed, but it wasn’t all it seemed. She had been duped by the company who were nothing to do with Grand Union or the council.

When she realised, she called the company to cancel, but things got worse.

“They said it would cost me between £2,000 and £3,000! I don’t have that kind of money! I’ve been so stressed and upset about it all; I’ve been in tears.

“I didn’t want any of this. It’s all been a huge misunderstanding. When they said they worked for the council, I thought they were genuine.

“I’d like to warn others – these are very clever people, but please don’t be taken in by them. Call your landlord or your local council and check that what they’re saying is true. Don’t fall for it, like I did.”

If you want to learn how to recognise a scam, please visit the Citizens Advice website for some useful advice: www.citizensadvice.org.uk/consumer/scams/check-if-something-might-be-a-scam/

* We’ve changed the customer’s name to protect her identity