Trading standards: Don’t become a victim of doorstep crime


Lincolnshire Trading Standards wants residents to be on their guard against doorstep con men this summer.

Uninvited visitors to your home who try to sell you a product or a service could be criminals, according to the county council service.

In the last year, 184 residents complained they had been targeted, 67 of which admitted to handing over cash.

In total, this cost residents over £90,000.

Tim Dawson, principal officer for Lincolnshire Trading Standards, said: “These people are crooks who will try to cheat you out of your cash however they can. They might say you need work doing to your home which you probably don’t, or that they are from a local authority and have helped other residents on your street. Don’t entertain people if you haven’t invited them, even if they appear to be an official.

“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. If you have witnessed criminal gangs operating in your street, please report it to Citizens Advice,” he added.

Trading Standards advise to share these top tips with your family and friends:

- Use a door chain before letting anybody in, or have a peephole in your door.

- Don’t be a victim of pressure selling tactics such as ‘for one day only’.

- Don’t believe that you are the only person on the street who hasn’t bought from them.

- If you have arranged an appointment for someone to come and see you, use the password scheme when booking with the organisation. If the person calling on you doesn’t know the agreed password, don’t let them in.

- Always lock your doors to avoid a distraction burglary – when one person keeps your attention at the front door while an accomplice sneaks round the back.

If you think you’ve been a victim of doorstep crime visit or call the Citizens Advice Consumer Helpline on 03454 040506.