HOMEOWNERS with satellite TV are among the latest victims of a national insurance scam.

Complaints to Trading Standards bosses at Somerset County Council have trebled in the past year as companies claiming to represent BSkyB contact consumers to say that their satellite insurance cover is running out.

They then offer to renew the insurance, take bank details and set up a direct debit.

People who have been caught out by this scam realised that something was wrong when they discovered two different direct debits were being taken from their bank account.

Others found out when they tried to make a claim against the insurance, and were greeted with a blank dialling tone or had their letters ignored. The council's community safety spokesman, Cllr William Wallace, said: "People need to be very careful when renewing their insurance and warranty cover.

"Complaints to our Trading Standards team show that some people have been left with a policy which is not worth the money they paid.”

Trading Standards officers will continue to carefully monitor any complaints received.

They advise people who receive unwanted sales calls and junk mail to register with the Mail and Telephone Preference Service at www.mpsonline.org.uk which can be accessed via the link in the "related articles" section on this page of our website.

For advice on this or any other consumer issue, contact Consumer Direct on 08454-040506 or via their web-site at www.consumedirect.gov.uk which can also be accessed via our links on this page.