By Sophie McCarrick [email protected]
An alarm company that misled residents by claiming that local councils would pay for the installation of home security systems is continuing to make unsolicited calls.
But now it claims that contact details have been obtained from the Algarve Resident, which highlighted the issue in a story in the November 18 edition.
One reader emailed us this week to say: “I have had several phone calls offering security systems for our house in Portugal. They say they got my number from the Algarve Resident newspaper. They know mine and my husband’s name, and are very persistent.”
Mike Almond, Publishing Director of The Resident Group, said: “We never, under any circumstances, give contact details for readers, advertisers or contributors to ANY third party. All information held by our company is confidential – and will never be shared with anyone else.”
The reader added that the caller, who said his name was Gareth, “reluctantly gave us a contact number for the company”.
This was 0800 5003174 – the number given on the Europe Alarm Systems (EAS) website at www.europealarms.com.
A second reader informed the Algarve Resident of their experience with the company: “I answered my wife’s phone last night around 9pm. A gentleman with a northern UK accent from EAS immediately asked to speak to my wife, addressing her by her name.”
The original Algarve Resident story told of the many residents who had reported their concerns after receiving unsolicited telephone calls from home security company EAS.
afpop, the association for foreign residents in Portugal, issued a warning to home owners on November 16, informing residents that “phone calls have been received from a female stating that they are offering free crime prevention surveys to home owners and that local Câmaras are paying for installation of alarms, which are then maintained at the home owners’ expense.”
However, Albufeira Mayor Desidério da Silva publicly stated that the Câmara denied any involvement in such action.
At that time, the Algarve Resident contacted EAS and Derek Fogel, the company’s Security Advisor, said that a woman making these phone calls had now been removed from the company’s call centre and “this situation would not happen again”.
Following this week’s developments, many attempts were made to contact EAS via telephone, on both the UK 0800 number and on the Portuguese number used for making cold calls, 289 244 772. None of the calls were answered.
Multiple emails were also sent, asking for a comment. At the time of going to press, no reply had been received.
afpop reiterated its advice this week for all residents to ensure that they have ascertained that any call or offer is genuine before giving any personal information over the telephone or inviting any company to their home.
Do you have a view on this story? Please email Editor Inês Lopes at [email protected]