There are many different types of doorstep scams, with scammers often targeting people who are older or who perhaps live alone or are at home alone during the day.
Common doorstep scams include rogue traders, who pressure you into having work done you didn’t want or need (see our animation) and fake officials, who trick you into believing they are from a utility company, charity or survey body in order to get your personal information.
Essex Trading Standards advises:
- Always say no to cold-calling doorstep traders
- Always ask for identification to prove who someone is before you engage with them
- Never disclose your PIN number or let anyone persuade you to hand over your bank card or go to the bank to withdraw cash for a payment
- Don’t be afraid to ask a salesperson to leave. If they refuse, call the police
- Keep the numbers for your utilities services handy so you can easily call and check an official’s identity
- Fit and use a door security chain when you open the door
- Never keep large sums of money in the house and keep purses out of sight, not near the door
- Get advice from the Citizens Advice consumer service 03454 04 05 06 who can provide advice and pass details on to trading standards
- Report scams or suspected scams to Action Fraud: 0300 123 2040 www.actionfraud.police.uk
- Tell a friend, neighbour or relative about any scams you become aware of
This July, Citizens Advice and Trading Standards have joined forces for the national Scams Awareness Month (SAM16) to help stop people falling prey to scams. Essex residents are being encouraged to follow the three-step rule and (i) get advice, (ii) report it and (iii) tell others about it.
Each week during Scams Awareness Month Essex Trading Standards has been drawing your attention to a different technique used by scammers. Last week it was mail scams and the Essex SCAMnesty and this week it is doorstep scams.
If you are concerned that a member of your family, friend or neighbour has been the victim of a scam, you can report the incident to the Trading Standards national helpline, run by Citizens Advice, on 03454 040506.