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Scam Watch: have you received a confusing insurance call?

A member felt duped after renewing their appliance cover. Have you received a confusing insurance call from an unexpected company?

A member was called by someone they thought was from Domestic & General (D&G) to renew their washer-dryer breakdown cover.

When the documents arrived, they saw they’d been speaking to a different business, Domestic Assure guard.

The member felt tricked, so called the company to cancel the policy and obtain a refund. But how did they get their details?

‘No data breach’

We’ve found many bad reviews for Domestic Assure Guard. Some allege it poses as D&G or claims to be linked with it. Domestic Assure Guard told us:

“It’s regrettable that the member was left unclear that Assure Guard is a different company to D&G. During every interaction, we ensure the company name and address is provided to avoid such confusion”

It didn’t answer our question on where it obtains customers’ phone numbers. D&G assured us it hasn’t suffered a data breach but told us it has heard from multiple customers regarding ‘other companies… passing off as D&G’.

It has identified specific companies involved (but didn’t name them), reported the issue to regulators and law enforcement and launched legal action. It says:

“We’ve been [explaining to customers] that we’re in no way associated with Domestic Assure Guard or any other third-party warranty companies, and that we do not provide them with customer information”

Have you ever received an insurance call from a company you didn’t expect? If you took out a policy as a result, did you go on to cancel it?

If you believe scammers have been in touch with you, tell us about it by emailing scamwatch@which.co.uk and, if you think you’ve been a victim of a scam, make sure you report it and visit our Consumer Rights advice for scams.

Comments

I used to get regular calls to renew my mobile phone contract even though I had gone sim only several years before.

The caller would sound like they were from o2. Questioning them, they would say they were calling on behalf of o2 and further questioning they would say who they really were.

They offered a free latest model phone and unless you questioned them would have easily found yourself in a contract with a new provider. I asked the model of one of the phones and it was probably the cheapest available.

I assume that if I receive a call about anything involving money there is a fair chance of it being a scam. I will not discuss anything financial unless I have looked up the number and made the call.

Very true, and genuine companies tend to be more efficient by not wasting money on manpower to make phone calls to existing customers. Genuine companies are more likely to contact their existing customers by e-mail or letter.

I wish someone would tell Vodafone. Each year when renewing my contract I have to insist that they do not call me.

My sympathy, Wavechange; I share your pain. They are a telecom company; it goes with the territory.

Wavechange, that was the thing I enjoyed most when I was using giffgaff. I never had to speak to anyone at giffgaff on the phone. Even if you want to, you can’t. I moved to Three because of giffgaff’s expensive incremental charges, expensive roaming and lack of wifi calling, and the first thing I noticed with Three was the hassle of having to speak to an Indian call centre every time I wanted to change something.

I want to have a choice in how I communicate with a company or other organisation, NFH. If I need to complain then a phone call is generally a quick and effective method, in my experience. It’s not just Vodafone that cancels your opt-out of marketing if you renew a contract. I used to use an insurance company that did the same.

If a company needs to contact you then perhaps the safest option is for them to send an email asking you to look up their number, call and quote a reference given in the email.

Brent says:
3 November 2018

I received a call claiming I already had washing machine insurance with this company and they were phoning to renew it.
I DON’T have insurance on my washing machine and this was a scam sales call.

Thomas Yeung says:
22 November 2019

Hi Brent,

I have just received a similar call, from Spectre Home Protection. They said that I already have insurance with them, and that they just wanted to revew it – but my credit card details wrre out of date, so could I just provide the new details?

Obviously a scam, but I played along for a while, asking for the date when I last paid, and which account they took it from. They did have my name and address and home phone number, but nothing else . . . . They were making it up, playing the averages, because I KNOW that I am not insured with them. And I checked my bank account, to see if I ever paid them or set up a direct debit, but I can see nothing . . . .

Might be worth checking any connection between these companies and whether one of them is offering the “service” described, otherwise they may be unfairly caught up in this problem. The web lists a reference to Domestic Assure Guard, Brighton, but I get no further
“IFLM LIMITED
Company number 10091988

Level 3 207 Regent Street, London, United Kingdom, W1B 3HH
Incorporated on
30 March 2016
Previous company names
Name Period
IFL MARKETING LIMITED 30 Mar 2016 – 02 Nov 2017

and
OUR OFFICE
Assure Guard, 207 Regent Street, London, W1B 3HH
WHAT WE DO
Here at Assure Guard we offer expert assistance for all domestic matters.
OUR PLEDGE
Our mission is to provide top quality customer service and speedy fault resolution. We understand how vital it is to have your home running smoothly. So getting things fixed as quickly and conveniently as possible is our number one priority.

“Who we Are
We work we a select group of companies that all have the same high standards of customer service.
We are aware of some confusion in the market place surrounding companies either being connected directly with, or several companies offering similar services some with a similar name. Here at Assure Guard we would urge any customers to contact us by phone, email or via our contact page to clarify any issues or confusion that they may face.
Our mission is complete transparency with all of our business partners and customers, so we welcome any opportunity to help clarify any confusion surrounding these areas.

https://www.assureguard.co.uk/prices/

Some reviews of Assureguard can be found here, but just one side of the story.
https://uk.trustpilot.com/review/assureguard.co.uk

207 Regent Street, London, United Kingdom, W1B 3HH

Put that address into beta.companieshouse.gov.uk and you get 54,621 results all on the 3rd floor…. a building with a maximum width of 3 double entrance doors.

So yet another brass plate/virtual office and more tax dodgers.

AssureGuard phone number gets unfavourable mentions here:
https://who-called.co.uk/Number/02036379963

The rather wobbly writing style of Assure Guard’s “Who we Are” statement sounds warning bells for me. It’s extremely vague and obscure about what they actually do. As a company name it has a phony ring to it even though the firm presumably thinks it projects reassurance and protection.

Phil says:
3 November 2018

Unconnected but got a letter (yes a letter) today purporting to be from a Wai Shu, manager at CTBC Bank Hong Kong, regarding $11 million belonging to a distant relative, now deceased. You can imagine the rest.

This scam has apparently been going on in various guises since 2012.

Peter Catford says:
17 December 2018

I have received one today from Wai Shu saying he is the manager of the CTBC bank in Hong Kong. Same scam, that $11 million is going around again

Mad Ian says:
22 December 2018

same received here. strange that a Hong Kong based banker is posting the letters from within the uk….

our letter today from Wai Shu with the same details says it has been posted by a friend who has travelled to the UK Maybe he read your comment!

Kelvyn says:
11 January 2019

Yep me too . Seems like Wai shu knows a lot of dead people !

Stephen Hall says:
18 February 2019

And another. The deceased does indeed have a lot of relatives

Ron H says:
10 November 2018

One important thing that “Domestic Assure Guard” would appear to rely on is how similar their intitials “D A G” would sound, over the phone, to “D & G”.
Am I being cynical, or might the name have been chosen with this intention?

Spot on, Ron.

Almost certainly devised to deceive.

George Goodall says:
19 November 2018

Slight change of subject. Have twice received request to renew insurance on my television for £7.50 a month. Have never had insurance for TV, but £7.50 was the cost of something else and anyone could have been caught by this one.

Oh lucky me…….$11million coming to me from deceased relative. Nice man that Mr. Wai Shu. My letter just arrived in the post.

Bill.... says:
12 February 2019

Just received my letter from Wai Shufei……..seems like he hasn’t found a home for $11M.

Bruce F says:
16 January 2019

I just had a call from Chloe at Domestic Assure Guard, she asked me to call 02039510686 for any call out or to check customer service about my plan. She told me my policy was valid until Jan 2021 and I was covered by them and asked me to call the above number if I needed a call out. She dropped Domestic and General into the conversation ( who I am covered with) and I asked her if I was paying for two policies in that case. She didn’t know and asked me again to call the above number. She was very vague and said she was just making a courtesy call and when I probed a bit more she ended the call fairly quickly. Suspected a scam will ignore them.

Surprisingly Bruce that is a genuine London number and a “fixed line ” so this is one number you can report with confidence that some type of action will be taken .
And yes it is the landline number of Domestic Assurance Guard .

It will come as no surprise that TP posters “tear it apart ” –one star.- quote-

Stay away from this fraudulent company

Stay away from this fraudulent company .
Lucky I spotted it on my bank details but they had already taken out £9.90 per month since June .
I have stopped the Direct Debit and my money is back in my bank today . You can reclaim on your Direct Debit agreement .
D&G are aware and in the midst of court proceedings.
I hope this helps.

Me too.
Have contacted my bank who will try to get the money back.
Also contacted D&G who seemed unaware.

Update Jan 2nd 2019
My bank has repaid me the money taken by Assureguard

Crooks. Simple as.

We’ve just cancelled our direct debit with these crooks and are considering referring the case to the fraud department of our bank. They appear to have access to the Domestic and General database and are creaming off money from D&G’s old customers with no intention of providing a service of any kind. Our washer dryer has developed a fault and to date we have been unable to contact them. AVOID AVOID AVOID.

It just gets worse many lost money and so do the tempers of the posters I will stop there .

David says:
1 February 2019

I had the same exact call. You failed to mention here that they called to categorically tell you that they are not connected to d&g.

David says:
1 February 2019

I’d take these reviews with a pinch of salt. A lot of them are undoubtedly fake and left by a competitor I expect. Pretty obvious which one.

Nephalim says:
1 July 2019

These are not reviews. They are people talking about the scams they have been put through. I get calls from Reliable Insurance doing the same thing. I generally try to keep them on the phone for about an hour. I feel it’s my public service to stop them calling someone else. Any scammer who calls me gets a heck of a long drawn out chat.

Steveo says:
7 February 2019

They caught me out. How? I’m an existing D&G customer who they said they were representing and they already had my bank details to set up the direct debit and also told me what other items I had under cover.
I’m very aware of scams and never buy anything over the phone but I genuinely thought they were D&G so went along with it. The bank refunded my £70 of monthly payments immediately without question as they had allowed a direct debit to be set up without my consent.

Looks like you had a lucky escape Steveo.

I had a call recently about my 2 year-old washing machine.

The caller caught me at a bad moment so I didn’t catch their name or have time to quiz them and ask exactly who they were but the patter was definitely slick.

They just needed to confirm a few details for the guarantee to continue……..

Told them the guarantee hadn’t run out and ended the call. I will quiz them more if they call again.

David says:
7 February 2019

D&G say you’re lying Steveo. They say there’s been no data breach so it’s not possible for them to have your bank details and appliance details. I’m just quoting d&g. Sounds like a case of friendly fraud on your part.

Maybe the answer is to say that you are busy and will call back when it is convenient and say that you have the number. If it looks like a scam you could ask them to confirm that the number to call is 0300 123 2040. That’s the number of Action Fraud. 🙂

I’m glad you recovered your money, Steveo.

DerekP says:
7 February 2019

How can D&G (or anyone else for that matter) ever be 100% sure there’s been no data breech?

My 2 year old washing machine came with a 2 year guarantee extended to 5 years if I registered it which I did.

I know better than to enter into any into any financial transaction that I didn’t instigate.

But the caller caught me at a busy moment and for a brief moment I may have assumed they were genuine before getting rid of them and didn’t do my usual check on the number.

I have just looked up the number and it would seem they were Homesure. Funny how you get who they are from a who-called-me site that lists scammers phone numbers and not from Homesure.

Just looked up a missed phone call and it appears it was another washing machine insurance renewal call.

Last week “Homesure” called on 02034753831
This week “Repair & Assure” called on 02034764524

From the comments on who-called.co.uk, these are scammers as callers seem to be fishing for business and seem to know nothing about the appliance when asked.

But if you look up the company names, a very quick look suggests they might actually be genuine, so I conclude they are scammers using real company names.

You have to wonder where they get their information from.
They seem to know I have a washing machine that had a 2 year guarantee up about now. What they don’t know is it still has another 3 years insurance because I registered it just after purchase !!!

Jonathan Lusby says:
1 October 2019

I had a very confusing call from Repair & Assure this morning regarding ‘renewing’ my warranty. They knew about my machine but the warranty expired 2 years ago. Turns out they were trying to sell me insurance but started out as if I was renewing an existing policy.

Jonathan, If I recall their has been a section of a Convo some time ago that discussed Repair and Assure. I do not have any means of finding it; it would have been useful.

@jon-stricklin-coutinho, Jon, I expect it is beyond the ability of WordPress to be able to find something like this. It is, in my view, a feature that Convos should have to avoid repeating previously-published experiences and comments and re-researching when it has been done in the past – but lost.

Repair and Assure actually came up in the first couple of comments in this same Convo: https://conversation.which.co.uk/money/scam-watch-confusing-insurance-call/#comment-1562832

As far as I can tell we’ve not had a dedicated Conversation about Repair and Assure specifically. Given it’s still happening though, it’d be worth flagging this up as something to look more deeply into.

On finding stuff too, I’m keen to get more searchability into comments and additional tagging or search data that one can add to specific comments. I need to scope and cost this out a bit more as it’s going to be a big job, but worth it in my opinion.

A Greene says:
4 March 2019

My Mother is 80 years old and (we now know) terribly trusting.
She lives in Northern Ireland and I’m in England.
When I was with her in early February, I was going through a large pile of paperwork to sort for recycling and discovered she had SEVEN different insurance policies, four of which covered her washing machine!
The amount paid totalled nearly £1,000.
I managed to cancel/reduce payment on a few of them but all I could do with the majority was ask them not to call her again once the policy was up.
One guy had the cheek to ask me why I was so concerned 6 weeks after the policy had been taken out – he had charged her £233 to cover an ancient washing machine.

My Mum has now been warned about the scammers and we have a note next to the phone reminding her not to give her bank details to anyone.
In the past week alone she has had 3 different companies telling her that her insurance was about to run out. Thankfully she said no thank you but can anyone advise of any way to stop them calling her. She is on the TPS but that’s obviously no help.

It makes me very angry that they see her as an easy target.

That is dreadful. You might want to check if your mother has been conned into any other insurance policies.

I don’t have a life insurance policy but recently had a call telling me it was time to renew it.

Adj says:
3 April 2019

Our 80 year old neighbour has just been stung by Repair and Assure. She had an existing policy with Appliance Serve which they seemed to know about. Repair and Assure convinced her to pay £225 for a 3 year policy. They sent out the documents and bottom of their T&C pages has Appliance Serve logos. However, both companies deny they are linked. When doing some digging on linkedin I discover that everyone at R&A used to work at Appliance Serve in the same capacity. Massive, massive scam. We are now in the process of helping her cancel her existing policies and seek refunds.

It’s good that your neighbour has someone there to help, Adj. I suggest having a look at the free register of information about companies, held by Companies House. With small companies operating in similar fields it can be easy to find the same names and even addresses appearing.

Gary Jones says:
17 September 2019

I had a similar call from a guy named Luke at Repair and Assure in Brighton trying to get me to renew my recently expired washing machine insurance with them.
Fortunately I’m an old hand at this and spent to time giving him as much BS as he was giving me and trying to get him to send out written details, but to no avail.
Take care and watch out for the ever increasing number of UK scammers who are joining the pesky Asian ones.

holeymoleypeter says:
25 April 2019

I have just had a cold call, apparently from a USA number but a very Indian-sounding girl called Jessica, to inform me that the insurance (which I don’t have) on my washing machine is going to reduce to only £6 a month for the next 24 months. When I asked, she said that the company was called ‘Apply and Guard’, but wouldn’t give me the contact details (as required by law) until I had confirmed my date of birth to prove I qualified as a pensioner. I declined to do that and looked for that name on Google but when I told her there was no trace she hung up.
I just hope I kept her talking long enough to save someone falling for this scam!

Mike says:
30 May 2019

Wai Shu’s well-travelled friend is apparently back in UK posting letters on his behalf again.
The scam doesn’t clarify if there’s a single $11 million in one fund with many surname aliases, or a lot of people each with $11 million to invest, and a penchant for dying soon after. Could be an opportunity for an advertising slogan for the bank – ‘If you’re dying to invest $11 million, come and speak to us!!’ – (sorry, I’ll get my hat..)

Steve B says:
23 August 2019

Just had my second letter from Wai offering me half of the $11 million up for grabs. Seems like a lot of people with my name are dying. Poor old Wai must have spent close to $11 million on postage!