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Internet ‘scam’ warning to Uttoxeter surfers from worried councillor

By UttoxeterPostandTimes.3522974.UttoxeterPostandTimes  |  Posted: April 02, 2014

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FEARS have been raised over a potential phone scam which could be running in East Staffordshire.

Cold callers from a company called PC Tech Support promise that for a one-off payment, they can improve broadband speeds immeasurably for the next nine years, at a cost of just £200.

But a cynical councillor, who received one of these calls, said he thought the offer was too good to be true.

And, after conducting a little research, he reported the company to Staffordshire Trading Standards.

Councillor Ron Clarke, who is the Staffordshire County Council broadband champion for East Staffordshire, told the Advertiser how he was targeted.

He said: “The chap on the other end of the phone asked me about my broadband and, when I said it wasn’t too clever, he said he could do something about it.

“He put me on to what he called a ‘genius’, who tole me about all the improvements which were available.

“I was told by this man that, if I signed up to what he was offering, it would give me nine years of guaranteed broadband for a one-off payment of £199.”

Councillor Clarke, who suffers with poor broadband speeds at his home in Rolleston, is among those involved in the rollout of superfast broadband around the county.

That project is being managed and funded by BT and bosses at Staffordshire County Council.

Councillor Clarke said: “With this rollout taking place, how can they give a nine-year guarantee for this?

“I could have been taken in quite easily by this.”

The councillor added that he was concerned people without his level of knowledge would be tempted to sign up to a scheme which he sees as a scam.

A spokesman for Staffordshire County Council said the company was not under investigation, but that scams like this were not uncommon.

Councillor Gill Heath, urged people to be on their guard.

She said: “Some cold callers can be very convincing, so as ever, buyers should be aware and quite often if the deal seems to good to be true it probably is.

“People can report any calls they suspect could be linked to scams to the Citizens Advice Consumer Service on 0845 4040506 or Trading Standards.”

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