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Doorstep scammers

How to protect yourself from doorstep scammers.
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Doorstep scams are when bogus callers come to your door with the aim of scamming you out of your money. They are often pushy and persuasive and skilled at getting you to part with money. Some people are genuine and honest, but it is best to be on guard.

Identifying a doorstep scam

Doorstep scams can include:

  • pressure selling

  • getting you to sign unfair contracts

  • overpriced and substandard plans

  • bogus charity collections

  • phoney customer surveys

  • using your personal data for fraudulent purposes.

Bogus callers can be anybody: male or female, adults or even children. They use various guises to get you to engage with them. For example, they might:

  • claim to be a council official

  • claim to be from the gas or water board

  • claim to be from the police

  • offer gardening or building work

  • claim to be from a charity

  • claim to have lost a ball in the garden

  • ask for help such as using the telephone or toilet.

What to do about doorstep scammers

If you are in doubt about the person on your doorstep, remember the following advice:

  • Use your door chain or door bar when answering the door. Install a door viewer and outside light.

  • Ask to see the caller's identity card and check it thoroughly.

  • If you feel unsure, ask the visitor to wait while you call the company to check their identity. Use your own phone number on your bill and not the number on their ID card.

  • Lock the door while you go and use the phone. Don’t open the door until you are totally convinced. Anyone who is genuine will not mind you doing this.

  • Ask them to return at an agreed day and time when you have someone with you. Don’t let callers put pressure on you to let them in.

  • If you are suspicious, ring the police.

  • If in doubt, keep them out.

If you think you have been a victim of doorstep scam:

  • contact the police

  • report it to us

  • report it to Action Fraud – they may be able to track down the fraudster and offer advice.

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