How to avoid doorstep scams

What is a doorstep scam?


This takes place on your very doorstep. It is when someone attempts to scam you out of your money or tries to come into your house without your permission.


Not all doorstep scammers are pushy. In fact, some can be very polite and friendly. If you are not expecting a visitor, then on no account should you let them into the home. Your client may rush to get to the door first, but you should always be close at hand in case of a scammer.


Common doorstep scams


Cold callers


These are people who offer you a service that you really do not need. They may claim to have seen a roof tile that is loose or a tree that needs pruning. They will offer to fix things for cash or an inflated price.


Bogus officials


The most recent scam of this type is for a person to pretend to be from your utility company. They gain access to the property by asking to check the meter. They should never be admitted, and you should always ask for ID. Close the door, make a phone call to check they are genuine and only then admit them.


Charity collectors


These are fraudsters who say they are collecting for a charity. They will ask for money, clothing, or any household goods. A legitimate charity will be registered and can be checked on the Charity Commission Website.


Hard luck cases


Here you may be approached by someone who tells you they are hard up and need cash. They may ask to use your telephone, or they may claim they are unwell and need a glass of water. All this is designed to have you allow them to access the house and possibly con you out of money. 


How to protect yourself and client?


Set up a password


Utility companies will allow you to set up a password which will be used by anyone genuine visiting your home. If they do not have the password you should not admit them.


Put up deterrent signs


This is often enough to ensure that scammers leave the house alone as they are never sure if they are being videoed.


Use a neighbour


If you have the number of a neighbour you could call them and ask them to help to verify a person at the door. Often having more than one person will deter a scammer and they will leave.


Final thoughts


Never be afraid to call the police if you have a scammer on the doorstep who will not go away. On no account should you let a scammer inside as they will look around the house and possibly come back later to burgle it.



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