POLICE and Lancashire County Council have reminded residents to remain vigilant after a Colne interior designer was bombarded with a series of nuisance phone calls.
Frustrated Ashley Sutcliffe (27), of Keighley Road, was inundated with around 20 calls in the past week from an unrecognisable mobile number.
Thirteen of the calls were received in just two days, and on each occasion the former Nelson and Colne College student was asked about his electricity supply.
Initially he said he would call back if he was interested, but when the phone calls would not stop coming he grew more suspicious.
He also questioned the fact that the callers had his current business address down as his former pop-up-shop at Roaming Roosters.
Now, police are reminding members of the community to beware of “unscrupulous people or rogue traders, who use various cold calling methods to prey on the elderly and vulnerable”.
A spokesman said: “Our advice is always that you should never give personal details, especially bank details, to unexpected telephone callers even if they seem plausible. Remember that if it sounds too good to be true it probably is.”
And a spokesman from Lancashire County Council added: “Be wary of cold callers generally.
“If you are thinking of changing your energy supply, then shop around.
“Any concerns that people have about cold calling can be reported to the county council.”
When the Colne Times tried to ring the number given by Ashley, they were met with an automated message stating “Unfortunately all our operators are busy at present”.
Ashley, who is hoping to open his new shop “Live Like The Boy” in Shackleton Hall over the weekend, said: “I have never known anything like it, it’s just ridiculous. It makes me really wary.
“I used to work in a call centre, and I told them they had a legal obligation to remove me from the database. It was so frustrating.”
Online, the number has been listed as a “telepest”, and various people have questioned its authenticity.
In March last year, a reporting tool was set up by the Information Commissioner’s Office, which members of the public can use to report concerns relating to marketing calls and texts made by unknown companies.
Currently, the tool on www.ico.gov.uk/complaints/marketing.aspx has received over 102,000 responses, but as of yet no complaints have been made about the number given by Ashley.
An ICO spokesman said: “Few, if any, companies carrying out unlawful marketing will use the same number for long.
“Most will use the number for a short period of time, often only a matter of days, before changing the sim card and using a new number.”