Portchester pensioner warns people of solar panel hoax caller

RENEWABLE Installing solar panels is growing in popularity
RENEWABLE Installing solar panels is growing in popularity
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A PENSIONER has issued a warning after hoaxers tried to con her out of thousands of pounds for solar panels.

Shirley Fuller, 78, from Portchester, was surprised when she received a phone call claiming she had bought £48,000 worth of solar panels for her home.

The persistent caller said a team would visit to install the panels later that week and that she owed them money.

But Mrs Fuller, of Coppins Road, was wary of the scam after reading a report in The News about a man getting into a house in Bognor Regis after claiming he was there to survey for solar panels.

She said: ‘They said they had an invoice with my signature on it.

‘I told them I hadn’t ordered any and I didn’t know anything about it.

‘I was getting crosser and crosser.

‘I stood up to them and gave as good as I got.

‘I told them “if you come round, I’ll call the police”.

‘That put a flea in their ear.’

The caller eventually hung up when Mrs Fuller tried to find out their phone number, but it was withheld.

She reported the call to police in Fareham.

The 78-year-old said she has had no further calls but wants to warn other people who might fall for the scam.

‘When someone calls using your full name, you think it’s someone you know,’ she said.

‘They’re very crafty.

‘They’re trying to find old people who are forgetful.

‘Call their bluff, and tell them you will call the police.’

The trading standards department at Hampshire County Council said it was not aware of any similar calls being made in the area.

But it said it had received complaints from members of the public who had been given misleading information about loft insulation.

False claims have been made by pretending to be council workers, and high-pressure sales techniques used to frighten vulnerable people into signing contracts.

Trading standards officers are advising people not to deal with any unsolicited callers who make contact at the door, or by telephone, text, email and letters.