Scam alert after arthritis calls

Scam alert after Norwich woman receives 3 calls in 3 days

Elderly people are warned to be on the lookout for scam phone calls, after a Norwich woman was called three times in three days by someone trying to get her to buy a wonder medication for arthritis.

Nora Hopwood, 79, from Heartsease, was phoned on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday this week, and each time spoke to a woman with a foreign accent.

Mrs Hopwood said that, while the woman did not ask for money or for her bank details, the experience did unnerve her.

Norfolk County Council trading standards said today that the woman might have been softening Mrs Hopwood up, before asking her for money.

Senior trading standards officer Ann Jackson said: 'We are very concerned to hear that people are being approached in this way. It would be highly inadvisable to purchase this type of product by phone, and people should always seek advice from a healthcare professional before changing medication.

'This could be an outright scam where the caller will later demand money or ask for Mrs Hopwood's bank details.'

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Mrs Hopwood said she had not wanted to hang up on the woman.

She said: 'I've no idea how she got my name or my number.

'She asked me how old I was and I told her I was 79. And whether I had arthritis, which I do. After a while she started using my Christian name.

'Then she said that there was no cure for arthritis and that if you took painkillers you could get stomach or bowel cancer.

'She wanted me to use rose hip seed oil, and I told her that I could get that from Holland and Barrett, but she said you can't do that, and that I should get it from her, for �40, which she then reduced.

'I was getting increasingly wary because I did not know what it was all about. I was trying to be polite and I told her that my husband would not let me buy anything off the phone, which is not true.'

Mrs Hopwood said the woman had a foreign accent and that, while she could not make out the company she worked for, she thought her surname was Lenar and her phone number was 020 861 900 70.

Advice on scams can be obtained from Consumer Direct Help on 0845 4040506. Members of the public can also sign up for scam alerts at