ELDERLY people in Chorley are being warned about bogus callers pretending to be offering alarms and panic buttons on behalf of the council.

In the last week the authority has taken calls from a number of people aged 50 and over who have been unnerved by a caller who tries to pressure them into setting up an appointment at their home.

The caller says the panic buttons and alarms are free and ‘an offer not to be missed’ but that there would be a small administration charge and that they would ‘need to have their money ready’.

Councillor Eric Bell, who is responsible for community safety at Chorley Council, said: “We are offering a number of free services to elderly residents at the moment but they do not include emergency alarms or panic buttons. These types of bogus callers are particularly cowardly and we suspect they are trying to set up appointments to get inside an elderly person’s property or take card details from them and overcharge them.”

One of the elderly people who was called said the person on the phone was very pushy and was adamant on setting up an appointment the next day.

“If you receive a call from someone saying that they are from the council I’d advise you to take their name and politely suggest that you will call them back on the switchboard number 01257 515151.” added Councillor Bell.

“Our staff won’t mind and that way you can be sure that you are speaking to someone from the authority and not a bogus caller.”