SOLIHULL magistrate Michael Hadfield is warning locals to take care with personal details after he was the victim of a scam caller.
A man, claiming to be from Virgin Media had called Mr Hadfield at 6.20pm on Monday February 13 informing him that £440 was owed on his account and threatened a further £440 fine would be added if it was not paid immediately.
“It was quite a strident approach,” said the 62-year-old.
“I’ve dealt with Virgin before, they have always been polite so I thought something was odd.
“From what I’ve read in your paper, I know it always pays to be on your guard.”
Mr Hadfield challenged the caller to confirm his password and method of payment, which they were unable to do.
Now suspicious, the savvy Shirley resident ended the phone call but was immediately called back and subjected to abuse until he put the phone down for a second time.
“He was really annoyed. He was swearing down the phone at me,” Mr Hadfield said.
“I told him I thought it was a total scam and I’m going to end the situation right now.
“Eventually he put me through to his ‘boss’ but, thinking about it afterward, I thought the second voice sounded a lot like the first.”
Virgin confirmed to Mr Hadfield the call had not come from them and admitted they received lots of similar reports of fraudulent calls.
“I was quite shocked my that,” he added. “I just think of the elderly lady down the road who’s vulnerable or can’t take care on herself.
“He was quite intimidating in his opening gambit and someone living on their own might have panicked and paid them.
“People should definitely be aware of who they are talking to.”
A Virgin Media spokesperson said: “We follow a strict data protection policy so if anyone is unsure about the legitimacy of a call, we recommend they end the conversation immediately and contact the company directly.”
“We ask people not to give out any personal information, address or bank details, and ask to end the call,” a Solihull Council spokesperson said.