This week, Lincolnshire Police received a number of reports relating to rogue traders operating in the Gainsborough area.
The scam involves people cold-calling elderly residents who are posing as builders and offering to carry out roof repairs at a special price. In several reports, the offenders have let themselves into the property and have also offered to transport the victims to the bank so they can withdraw the money needed for the work to be carried out.
Sadly, one of the victims lost a sum of cash to the offenders.
West Lindsey Community Policing Inspector Gary Brockie said: “It’s deplorable that offenders target the elderly and the vulnerable, particularly when this type of crime has the potential to leave lasting effects for victims and their families.
“I am urging friends, family, and neighbours to be vigilant and to look out for their elderly or vulnerable relatives, so that we can prevent others from falling victim to this scam. I’d also like to encourage the public to report anything suspicious to us, so that we are able to increase our knowledge and understanding of this crime and other potential scams. If you have been the victim of a scam, please don’t be embarrassed to report it to us. We take all reports of this nature very seriously.”
Fraud Prevention Officer Sharon Hall said: “The simple message here is, if you’re not sure, don’t open your door. Cold callers or doorstep sellers rely on you to engage with them, so if you don’t open your door in the first place, then you can’t be persuaded or pressured to buy something you don’t want or need. If they appear official, are you expecting them? If not, check them out by calling the company or agency using a telephone number you can verify. Remember, you can do all of this without opening your door.”
Stay safe from doorstep fraud
- Make sure you keep your windows and doors locked so that no one can get into your property without your knowledge.
- Check the identity of the caller before opening the door. If they are genuine, they will be more than happy to wait for you to verify their identity.
- If you do let someone into your home, never leave your front door open, unlocked or unattended, so second individual can’t enter without your knowledge.
- Never let any caller pressure you into making a quick decision.
- Ultimately, if you are not sure, then don’t open your door
More help and support
If you have been a victim of doorstep crime, call 101 or report it online. If you are in immediate danger, call 999.
If you have any information about any person(s) who have committed such crimes or details of vehicles they use, you can contact the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111. Your call is free and is completely anonymous.