Don't be a doorstep victim of a scam
A warning has been issued for Boston residents to be on their guard against doorstep con men this summer.
Adam Eden, Boston Borough Council's Principal Community Safety Officer (Interim) said: "Not all cold callers are criminals or con-artists; unfortunately there are people out there who are. These people are criminals who will try to cheat you out of cash however they can. They may convince you that you need work doing to your home or driveway; they may even try to convince you that they are from the council or the police and have helped others out in the area, or that they have a special offer, today only.
"We would like residents to be vigilant when they have someone unexpectedly knock on their door trying to sell them a product or service."
In the last year, 184 Lincolnshire residents complained they had been targeted, 67 of which admitted to handing over cash. In total, this cost residents more than £90,000.
During these warmer summer months, we all like to leave our windows and doors open, but if they can't con you, some of these criminals may try to gain entry and attempt to steal your belongings.
Follow these simple steps to avoid being scammed:
- If you have any suspicion, please ask them for ID and contact the organisation they work for. Ask them to wait outside while you check;
- Check out the trader's details. If the trader says they belong to a professional organisation such as TrustMark, phone the organisation or look on their website to check this is true. Some organisations, such as energy companies, have password schemes for you to check you are speaking to someone from the real company;
- Don't agree to repair work being done on the spot. Take the trader's details and say you need more time to make a decision. It's usually best to only use traders who have been recommended by friends or family, or who belong to a trusted scheme such as TrustMark;
- Never agree to go with the trader to the bank to get money out. This is almost certainly a scam. You can report the trader to Citizens Advice Consumer helpline or to the police. If you are pressurised into going to the bank, go to the counter and tell the staff you have been threatened or forced and they should take you to another room and call the police;
- Make sure your back door is locked whenever you answer the front door and always lock your door if you're asked to go outside to look at something, such as broken guttering. This prevents you from being distracted while a thief gets in and burgles your house.
Some residential areas have No Cold Calling Zones or have a neighbour scheme where you can ask your neighbour to be with you when someone unexpectedly arrives at your door.
If you think you've been a victim of doorstep crime, please call the Citizens Advice Consumer Helpline on 03454 040506 or visit www.adviceguide.org.uk