WARWICKSHIRE Police is urging residents to be on their guard against doorstep scams as criminals continue to try and exploit the lockdown.
Doorstep scams are when people turn up at homes offering goods or services in exchange for cash but don’t actually carry out work promised or sell items that are poor quality or value for money.
Examples of doorstep scams can include:
* Offers to do shopping or collecting prescriptions, taking the money and then not returning
* Cleaning services with the promise of killing bacteria to stop the spread of coronavirus
* Offering to sell coronavirus testing kits – which only the NHS offers
* Vaccinations or coronavirus cures – at present, there is not a vaccine or cure for Covid-19
* Fake and overpriced antibacterial products aimed at protecting people from coronavirus
Ch Insp Karl Faulkner from Warwickshire Police said: “Sadly isolation and social distancing measures have put vulnerable members of our community, including the elderly, at risk of scams such as these.
“While the majority of our communities are coming together to help each other, heartless criminals are using the national pandemic to their advantage to exploit the vulnerable.
“I would ask everyone to remain vigilant and be wary of anyone coming to your house offering services such as those mentioned, and to look out for any loved ones or neighbours that you may have concerns about.
“If you or someone you know does become a victim of a door-step scam I would urge you to report it so we can fully investigate and ensure that others don’t fall victim to one.”
Protect yourself from doorstep fraud
* You can’t tell a good trader from a bad one on the doorstep – don’t assume everyone is genuine – always ask for ID
* Do not buy goods or services from unexpected doorstep callers or reveal personal details or bank/debit card information
* If you do require work to be carried out on your home, seek recommendations from family or friends or consider using an approved trader scheme www.warwickshire.gov.uk/approvedtraders
* Don’t be rushed into making a decision, if it sounds too good to be true it probably is
* Never pay for goods or work up-front, only when you have received them and are happy with them
Where to go for help
* Dedicated help and support is available for anyone isolating without support from family, friends or neighbours. Please phone Warwickshire County Council on 0800 4081447
* Report suspicious doorstep visits or doorstep crime to Warwickshire Police on 101 or to the Citizens Advice Consumer Service on 0808 223 1133.
* The Citizens Advice Consumer Service can provide telephone support and advice. They will also alert Warwickshire Trading Standards Service who can provide additional advice.
* Always call 999 in an emergency.