Wendy Williams, was just one of over a thousand people targeted by the ‘Wolves of Wind Street’, a group of fraudsters who targeted elderly victims with a free boiler scam. Renewable Energy Centre Ltd, offered victims a free boiler under what they said was a government scheme, all people had to do was pay a one-off upfront fee of either £299 or £399.
The company managed to con 1,200 people into paying this fee, but only three households ever received their new boilers. The three elderly victims who did receive their new boiler, were actually unknowingly signed up for monthly repayments lasting 12 months.
A four year investigation was carried out by Trading Standards, after customers complained. Trading Standards discovered that the four fraudsters were raking in around £50,000 a week from their scam and were spending £5,000 a week on nights out for them and their team.
In 2015, Swansea Trading Standards conducted a raid on Renewable Energy Centre Ltd and ceased CCTV footage which revealed the heartless actions of the company, who mainly targeted elderly victims. Victims were repeatedly reassured that the funding was from a government backed scheme, which made the scam appear legitimate. What they failed to tell customers, was that in order to qualify for a free boiler you had to meet certain requirements, like being in receipt of benefits. If customers questioned the caller or refused to take up the deal, the caller would pile on the pressure by claiming they would miss out if they waited because the government had a pot of money which would soon run out.
Wendy Williams was just one of over a thousand people targeted by the Swansea based call centre, Renewable Energies Centre Limited. Customers were encouraged to pay for an energy certificate in return for a free boiler.
In April, three directors of the company, Kyle Lewis, Darren Palmer and David Alford were jailed for 45 months each. A fourth man, Jason Cunliff was jailed for 18 months. The men conned customers out of more than £400,000. Wendy has a message for those targeted by scams: ”Understand that you can do something about it.” she said. ”You’ve just got to be very vigilant, very vigilant.”