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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.

Alan says:
24 June 2020

Received a call today from “Domestic & General” re washing machine warranty about to expire. Having had these calls before and knowing to be fake I played along by asking which machine, when was it bought etc. When they quoted my (old) address and I informed them I hadn’t lived their for 14 years. they hung up! Telephone number they called from was 0113 487 9842 registered to Insignia Security Services in Leeds if it helps anyone.

Lynn says:
23 July 2020

Hi, received a call from number: 02640907662 23 July 2020. Said his name was “Jerry Smith” from “Domestic and General” asking if if I wanted to renew the insurance on a non existent Hotpoint washing machine! Had him going for 8 mins and then he gave me the number 01134874236 to speak to customer services! Yeah right!

Ian H says:
26 July 2020

Parents were cold called regarding a 5yr appliance insurance policy that they took out 2 years ago and now 2nd payment is due or something along those lines. Already had their financial details. Very aggressive sales tactics on phone. Ended up paying £145 and received a letter a few days later from “Cover team direct”, stating policy starts the day she gave payment, for three years for their “gold cover plan” for TV and Digibox.

Doubt it’s worth the paper it’s printed on. Companies house shows they established in Jan this year. What’s the chances of getting money back? They do provide a number for “claims, cancellations, refunds or support” – Do they actually honour the 14 day cooldown period? Is it best to just report to bank as fraud?

Have a look at my post of 3 June 2020 (and previous ones), as this sounds exactly the same ploy. I have managed to get all my friend’s money back through chargeback, but it is important that you cancel the contract within the 14 days first. None of the companies returned the money paid out so S75 if paid by credit card, or chargeback for bank payments should work. It is disgusting that this goes on. I had a call this morning about renewing the cover for my TV, and the way these people talk would convince someone who might have considered this sort of cover. Not me, as the only cover I ever took out was for my first computers, as I needed help with them!

Antony Miles says:
28 July 2020

Called twice in recent days by someone allegedly from “D & G” re expiring warranty. When I asked which machine, they guessed correctly once, incorrectly the other time. After stringing them along for several minutes, on the basis that while they’re talking to me they’re not conning someone else, I revealed that I have a 5 year warranty from John Lewis anyway, so they hung up. Crooks, pure and simple.

My father seems to have been duped into a 3 year plan with Cover Team Direct costing him £198. He did it on his debit card. I am not sure if this is something he can get back via his bank, but we are hoping to try. My research today shows the company registered in January this year with just one director. It also comes up as an international transaction on my dad’s bank statement. I see there are one or two other mentions of them on here. There was no 14-day cancellation period mentioned in the ‘contract’ that I can see. But the contract does point out that the policy is not ‘insurance’ but a ‘service’. I don’t know the law on this, but is there a 14-day cooling off period in these circumstances?

My mum had a call last night from Cover Team Direct and they knew the password on the account. I am disgusted that these people prey on the most vunerable members of society, My mum was recently widowed and they confused her. Took out £89.99. She is so upset.

I had a call today from someone purporting to be from Domestic and General saying that my insurance was up for renewal. Clearly a fake because I have a policy that is on a direct debit with D&G which only stops when I stop it. The phone number was 02035140068. They wanted three times the premium I am currently paying to D&G.

Fran says:
7 October 2020

Received a call today saying my cover was due to expire I said I was busy when they asked me to renew by debit card. They said they would ring me back later which they did I told them to ring back tomorrow when I had checked my account. I pay by direct debit and although they said it would expire by then I insisted. My cover was not due.

Ken Peache says:
24 November 2020

Cover Team Direct-it is a scam. Try to convince you that your loyalty has been rewarded with a reduced premium on T.V. insurance. Did not have any dealings with them.

Sylvia French says:
1 December 2020

I received a persistent call today from Alan Peterson from Cover Direct Team to renew my T.V. and dish policy, they had part of my card numbers and personal information, I was dealing with a workman at the time so stupidly gave in to the badgering. It did not feel right so I contacted my bank who have now dealt with matter. I am repeatedly being cold called, since becoming a pensioner, usually at lunch or tea time. Where do these people obtain personal information from?

Have just had a call from Cover Team Direct, pretty aggressive and demanding, about a 5 year policy for £100 on my tv taken out in 2018 (years before the Company was founded! as I found out from Companies House). I wouldn’t have knowingly taken out such a policy on my tv. I didn’t recognize the Company name. He allowed me to look through my papers – nothing, of course. Said he would ring back (any minute now) I fortunately found my card statements from Jan 2018 which have no mention of Company or of payment. He said they couldn’t send out an online copy of the Contract as it was a hard copy only! I requested an email detailing all he told me rather than have to make the immediate decision he was demanding, and he said I would have to pay for the final years (£99.00 or £66 p.a. with their loyalty reduction) BEFORE they sent anything out. If there is evidence that I have made such a Contract and payment is genuinely due, I will pay it; evidence is there none. Now I’m 81 I have become more bolshie, and have switched on my “Call Guardian” on my phone, so he might not get through next time. I think the number he called from was 020 3807 0379.

This happened to me two days ago and gave them more information than I should have. Then I saw a pending transaction for£198 on my account. Thankfully Lloyds fraud department stopped the money going out. The company gave me a completely false story.

Garry J Edmunds says:
25 January 2021

just had a call from Cover team for the second time trying to get me to give them my card details for a tv cover I do not have nor want they seem to have quite a good knowledge of my bank details and an old card number I told them this time this was a scam call and hung up

Joyce Cavanagh says:
28 January 2021

A disgusting company called Cover Utilities have twice taken £195 from our bank account for so called domestic insurances, details given by my husband who has dementia. Despite blocking their phone number they still manage to get through and are constantly phoning/plaguing us. Reported them to our bank and fraud squad but they are still out there conning people. Out and out SCAMMERS!!

Stuart Thompson says:
2 February 2021

Unfortunately it also happened to my mum on 14 January 2021. She is 88 frail and confused. They have taken £198 out of her account. I reported them to Royal Bank of Scotland fraud team. The bank told me they also took out £198 in August 2020. Both times by using her debit card. I also tried contacting them but they do not answer the phone. Cover Team direct are scammers who prey on the elderly.

I have also just had a call today from Cover Team Direct (a guy called Henry Skiller he said), very similar to Graham Derriman`s above, offering me a 50% reduction in my premuim as a “loyal” customer and not having made any claims with them for my washing machine. The number he called from was 01702 662333.
I couldn`t recall having used them but he offered a 3 year policy for £198. When I asked how I`d paid he said from your Santander account so somehow he knew (or was guessing) that I was with them. I asked when did I take a contract out and he said in 2018. I asked him how much I`d paid and exactly when but he said he did not have that info. Like Graham I checked through my paperwork and found nothing. I asked him to email evidence of my contract with them but he said he couldn`t, and I should re-check. He said the only thing they would do was send new paperwork when I renewed. I said I would but he would need to ring me back. I waited and called the 01702 number and got a girl who said she would pass my message on. Not long after he did ring back but this time on a 0020 number which according to BT is the country code for Egypt.

When I told him I was not going to “renew” he said he would offer a price of £145 for 1 year after which he would “release” me from the contract. When I said no he began making veiled threats about going down an “unpleasant route” Clearly a scam for if anyone gets a call form them BEWARE.

In April 2020 , My Old father was duped by Cover team Direct into taking out insurance over the phone where they manipulated his details off him and took £89.99 for some alleged insurance service cover plan.
In November they phoned again and asked for another £170 stating he had taken out a 5 year plan. He asked to cancel and they said you can only cancel if you take out another 1 year policy of £89.99. He took this offer and received a alleged one year plan for a washing machine in the post . We thought that was the last of this outfit but then they then phoned in March 2021 to ask for another 170£ stating he had a 5 year plan.
Why would he have taken the earlier 1 year plan out, if he already had a 5 year plan in place. Luckily Dad had cancelled all credit cards and the bank will now reject this company taking money from his card. The phone callers are convincing, devious and fraudulent and need the authorities to stop this. We reported it to action Fraud and the Police, from what I see on here this is their MO. Harassing and conning the old and vulnerable.

I can’t understand why nothing is done to stop these fraudsters. At least some are in the UK where there will be a trail to a receiving bank account.

I wonder if this is because we love our service industries here in the UK.

And, it is not illegal for UK citizens to waste their money, on overpriced goods and services.

We don’t seem to be able to stop folk charging through the nose for the worthless so-called service of forwarding application forms to DVLA.

In similar vein, it may be hard to stop the sale of (essentially worthless) extended warranties and other forms of product support insurance.

Personally, in a repair crisis, I’d sooner shell out £170 to buy a replacement appliance than spend that kind of sum periodically just in case.

Having been trained to work in sales, I know how easy it is to use “hurt and rescue” sales tactics on unsuspecting potential customers. But personally, I’d would not be happy if I had to dupe customers into paying lots of money for worthless goods or services.

Total, Utilities Cover & Cover Team Direct are both scam companies operating from the same address, they shared my personal information & tried to con me,I have reported them both to Fraud Action, they are looking into their affairs. My fear is they have my password, bank details & can rob me at any time !!

The fraud squad has decided no further action, the proof is there for them to see, no wonder these fraudsters continue to con innocent people !!!!

Unbelievable, but then Action Fraud is little more than a data collection service.

You can report them to Trading Standards through Citizens Advice.

Whether this achieves anything I don’t know, but it could help Trading Standards accumulate unfair trading or illegal business activities.

Some positive news – The Financial Conduct Authority issued a warning this month advising Cover Team Direct are not authorised or regulated by the FCA. The FCA have suspended the companies’ website domain and their website is now removed from the web.

Lynne Brighton says:
6 July 2021

This is happening to me exactly the same has my details of my bank accounts and my password they are very aggressive and talk over you. They don’t give you a chance to speak, like you we have asked for paperwork and won’t send it. This firm is a scam

Watch out for landline calls from 0333 440 000. They come via a company called AQL. When I have rung this number back via the UK 1471 call-back service, there is voice prompt that asks the caller to go to the AQL website and pick up a text. Three calls from this number to my landline in the space 45 mins. Several calls to my mobile number over the weekend inc UK bank holiday.

3 calls to my landline in the space of 1 hour from 7 am this morning. from 0333 440 000. The message insisted that I go to their site to pick up text message by the AQL site. All completely bogus.

Bob says:
22 June 2021

This company coverteam have scammed my 93 year old out of £900, they confused him and and aggressively demanded payments for appliances he doesn’t even have, there website has now been shut down by the FCA, as a scam site, they are unscrupulous and will fleece anyone they ca, especially the elderly and vunerable, tell you parents or friends to just hang up, a disgusting lowlife group of people.

Even TrustPilot has issued a warning about Coverteam Direct on their site