Prevent crime on your doorstep

Unfortunately there have been reports of doorstep scammers in Burngreave in the run up to Christmas. Below is some police advice on how you can protect yourself. Some of them just want to get into your house to rob you, others have more sophisticated methods to part you from your money.

A lot of these people might pretend to be officials and may be quite convincing. So please do be careful.

Doorstep scams

Scammers commonly target older people for doorstep scams. In fact, 85% of victims of doorstep scams are aged 65 and over according to National Trading Standards. We'll show you some simple steps that you can take to help you stay safe on your doorstep.

Doorstep scams are when someone comes to your door with the aim of scamming you out of your money or trying to gain access to your home to steal items from inside.

While there are many legitimate tradespeople and officials, it’s wise to be on your guard when you answer your door. Doorstep scammers can be pushy and persuasive and it can be easy to fall victim. It’s especially important to be vigilant and aware if you live on your own.

Protect yourself

Lock, stop, chain and check Whenever you answer the door remember to lock, stop, chain, check. Lock: secure all your other outer doors as the person at the door may intend to distract you while an accomplice gets in through a back door Stop: think about whether you’re expecting anyone.

Chain: put the door chain on or look through the window or spyhole to see who’s there.

Check: ask for an identity card and examine it carefully – you can always tell the caller to come back another time when someone will be with you.

Put up a deterrent sign

You could put a ‘no cold callers’ sign up on your door or window, which should deter any cold callers from knocking on your door. You can download a free sign (PDF 236 KB) from Action Fraud.

Password protected

You can set up a password with your utility companies so you know that they are genuine if they send someone round. In order to arrange this, you may need to ask your supplier to put you on their Priority Services Register, which gives access to extra services if you are of pensionable age, are registered disabled, have a hearing or visual impairment, or have long-term ill health.

Nominate a neighbour

Find out if you have a nominated neighbour scheme where a neighbour can help to make sure if callers are safe. Contact your local Neighbourhood Watch or your local Safer Neighbourhood police team to find out more. Check their credentials

You should always check a seller or trader’s credentials before agreeing to purchase their products or services. See our guide Avoiding scams (PDF 327 KB) for tips on how to do that.

Rogue traders

What is a ‘rogue trader’ incident?

There is no specific ‘rogue trader’ crime category with offences normally recorded as fraud by false representation. For example, where repairs to a roof are charged at extortionate rates and either little or no work has been done.

Rogue traders are different to distraction burglars, as their offence is more about exploitation – they charge extortionate amounts of money for relatively minor jobs.  Rogue traders can affect their company’s reputation and they cost members of the public needless sums of money. Follow a few simple steps to prevent becoming a victim: Never accept an offer of work from an unknown caller.  If they are genuine, they will be willing to leave contact details and allow you to get other quotes.

If you need some work doing to your property, do not go with the first company or trader you meet.  Obtain a number of quotes to make sure the prices match up and where possible, ask family or friends for a recommendation.

Call the police

Finally, remember that you can dial 999 if you’re suspicious or the caller won’t leave. Call the police non-emergency number 101 if you’re not in immediate danger but want to report an incident.

If you’ve been the victim of scam

There's no shame or embarrassment in falling victim to a scam – it happens to lots of people. If you report it, it may help to prevent others from experiencing the same thing.

You can report it to Action Fraud – they may be able to track down the fraudster. You can also contact the Citizens Advice Consumer Service for advice.

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The content on this page was added to the website by Graham Jones on 2015-12-17 08:07:18.
The content of the page was last modified by Graham Jones on 2015-12-17 08:17:50.

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