PENSIONERS are being targeted by a cold-calling scam that sees salesman hard-sell a £3,600 alarm system after quoting just £299 over the phone.

Herefordshire Council’s trading standards and licensing head Mike Pigrem has issued a warning over the scam after a spate of incidents around the county.

He said: “This scam is targeted at older and vulnerable people whereby they scare them into believing the alarm system is a necessity, when it is not.

“Never deal with any cold callers on the telephone or at the door - virtually all rogue trading operates this way.”

The scam begins by the firm pitching a £300 alarm system over the phone that allegedly costs £1500.

Then, when the salesman follows up the following day with a face-to-face meeting, they attempt to coerce the customer into signing up for a £3,300 five-year monitoring system and waive their seven-day cancellation rights.

The system is then fitted the next day to give victim as little time as possible to discuss it with their family or neighbours.

The council’s trading standards department has managed to intervene and cancel a number of contracts – and are calling on anyone who believes they have been a victim to get in touch.

You can contact trading standards on 01432 261761, while free advice on security can be obtained from your local Safer Neighbourhood Team.