Beware tricksters on your doorstep

May 08 2017

AT this time of year there’s often an increase in unscrupulous people calling door-to-door aiming to con householders into having work done, often unnecessarily or at excessive cost, sell overpriced goods or talk their way inside in order to steal.

AT this time of year there’s often an increase in unscrupulous people calling door-to-door aiming to con householders into having work done, often unnecessarily or at excessive cost, sell overpriced goods or talk their way inside in order to steal. 

Older people, who are more likely to be at home, are often unduly affected by this. 

We and South Gloucestershire Trading Standards Officers want to make people aware of these scams and what can be done to deter them. 

Setting up a ‘No Cold Calling Zone’, with signage saying cold callers aren’t welcome, can help: find out more at South Gloucestershire Council's website or www.avonandsomerset.police.uk. 

People who live alone and feel isolated may be more likely to fall victim to these scams, so you can really make a difference by regularly visiting or ringing up your elderly family, friends or neighbours. 

Offering to help to get maintenance work done and reminding them of our home security tips can also help: 

• Remember, it’s ok to say no! 


Always use the safety chain and ask to see ID when you have an unexpected caller 


Check ID by calling the organisation using a number from the phone book or your bill 


Don’t be rushed – if they’re genuine they won’t mind coming back another time, when you can have someone with you 


You’re legally entitled to a ‘cooling off’ period before work starts – and failure to provide a notice of cancellation rights is a criminal offence 


If you need work done, get three quotes from reputable local tradespeople – ask for recommendations from family or friends 


Never give cash upfront 


Keep your money in the bank, not at home 

Please let us know at once if you’re suspicious of a caller. They might not bother you, but others could be more vulnerable. Give us a call on 101 with a description of them and any vehicle. If you feel intimidated or alarmed, call 999 immediately. 

There’s more information about rogue trading and doorstep crime on South Gloucestershire Council’s website, www.southglos.gov.uk