Reassura Guide: Doorstep scams

Door-to door sales is an age-old method of selling and as much as we would like to think that this personal touch is a good thing, the numbers would suggest otherwise. In 2017, according to Action Fraud UK, more than 110,000 households were impacted by door-to-door fraud. And according to Trading Standards 85% of victims were over 65. Some fraudsters look to sell you low quality goods or services, others are looking for your personal details and some are just looking for access to your home. Please read this guide to stay safe and answer the door confidently.

The Most Commons Door-to-Door Scams

Fake Officials

Sometimes claiming to be from utility companies they are looking to gain access to your home. Other times they may be offering cheaper energy to people with pre-payment meters. Victims who fall for the scam lose their money, as the top ups are bogus.

Charity Fraud

Fraudsters pretend to represent a charity and ask you to donate or set up a direct debit.

Rogue Traders

A rogue trader will knock on your door unexpectedly, offering home improvements and repairs that you probably don’t need. The person will flaunt all the fixes that they can offer; guttering, window cleaning, garden landscaping etc. The work is often unnecessary and almost always substandard.

Bogus Consumer Surveys

Here the fraudsters ask you to complete a survey, they are just looking to collect your personal details for identity theft.

How to avoid becoming a victim of door-to-door sales

  • Keep them outside – Whatever the weather, do not allow them into your home until all your checks are completed
  • No doorstep sales sticker – Reassura members please call us to send you one
  • Say no to cold callers! – At Reassura we believe in the simple rule of never buying anything from a cold call and similarly never giving them any personal information.
  • Credentials? – Check their id, if it’s a charity collector, does it have the charity’s number on it? If it is a utility, ask for a number you can call to check their authenticity. The identification must be of high quality
  • Knowledge – Do they have in-depth knowledge of the charity they are representing?
  • Charity Number – Collection buckets and written materials should have the charities name and registration number visible (open containers or buckets are prohibited)
  • Pressure – Never feel pressured into making an urgent action.
  • Direct Debit – Never reveal long card numbers, PINs or security codes. Only give account number and sort code when you are 100% sure the charity/collector is genuine.
  • Never – buy electricity on your door step Consider calling directly or use official channels like Pay zone or the Post Office.
  • Think – Avoid being persuaded if you don’t need or want the product. Sleep on it.
  • Talk – Get a few quotes if you need work done to your home. Visit Check A Trade all of these trades people have been vetted and monitored to sell goods and services.
  • Still Unsure? Call Reassura 0800 888 6400 one of fraud advisors will help in your quest to avoid become a victim of door-to-door sales fraud.

What to do if you suspect you have been a victim of Doorstep Crime/Fraud?

  • If you’re in immediate danger call the Police on 999, if not call 101
  • Contact ActionFraud to report the crime and get a Crime Reference Number.
  • If you have made any payment with your credit card contact your credit card provider’s fraud department.
  • If you paid by debit card, contact your bank.
  • Contact your bank immediately if you think you might have given your bank details to a bogus charity.
  • If you’re worried about identity fraud contact CIFAS

 

Reassura is dedicated to helping raise awareness of scams and fraud and the impact they have on their victims. Reassura’s team of specialist anti-fraud advisors are on-hand to offer advice designed to help individuals make better informed decisions and avoid the unpleasant consequences of becoming a victim. For further information visit: https://reassura.com or call 0800 888 6400