A gentleman came into the CAB with a pile of paperwork and a sorry story.
He was up to date with all his bills and rent but he did have two credit cards. One had £1500 on it, the other £2500 and he had been gradually whittling this balance down.
He received a phone call saying that he may be able to wipe out these debts completely due to a technicality in the terms and conditions. He thought it seemed a bit unlikely but when the caller said we will act for you on a ‘No win, no fee’ basis he thought, ‘What have I got to lose?’ and gave details of both his cards.
Instantly £790 was debited from one of them. When he queried this he was told he would get the money back when his case was successful.
This happened a year ago. His phone calls to the company were met with the assurance that the case would be going to court soon.
Then the company went into liquidation.
All seemed lost when he had a phone call from another company saying that they had got his details and they would pursue the case for him. However they needed £149 from him for administration otherwise the case would not go to court.
He wanted to know if he should send this money. When I said, ‘No.’ he was quite upset because he thought it was his only chance of getting something for his £790.
I was sorry to have to tell him that this money was well and truly gone. If he paid the latest demand he would be asked for more later on. He was better putting the money towards paying off his card the normal way.
Telephone callers can be very persuasive but if it sounds too good to be true it usually is.
If you want more information call in at the Citizen’s Advice Bureau at 7 Atholl Crescent. Drop in is 10am-12 noon, Monday to Friday or phone 01738 450581 for an appointment in the afternoon. Everything is confidential, even the fact that you visited the bureau.
There is also a Tayside Advice Project.
Phone 0845 296 1010. If there is no reply you can leave a message or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org