Doorstep criminals operate throughout the year, and sadly they are using the current pandemic as an opportunity to further prey upon vulnerable people.
Wrexham Trading Standards has been informed by North Wales Police of a number of recent scams that have took place in the local area.
In Rhos, an attempt was made to extort cash from an elderly gentleman by men who were claiming to be ‘chartered surveyors.’
In Borras, there was a case of excessive pricing for work after a vulnerable lady with no family contacted an aerial company. The men took her bank card and withdrew £200 from her account without permission.
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Slightly further afield, there has been a number of scam calls supposedly from Flintshire Council, with the scammers asking people for their bank details for ‘a payment to continue to empty your black bin’.
Nationally, the BBC have also reported that an 83 year-old lady with dementia was “barged in upon” at her home by a conman, who demanded a £220 payment from her.
These are all examples of how the current situation is being used to pressure vulnerable people into making ill-informed decisions that leave them out of pocket.
Wrexham Trading Standards advise that if you’re not expecting anyone, DON’T open the door. If you do open the door, say you’re not interested and close the door behind you. NEVER engage with these people on the doorstep…that way they don’t take your money, they don’t come into your home, and you’re kept safe.
Never disclose your personal details and never give bank or payment card details if you’re uncertain. And please remember, particularly during these difficult times, that we’re all targets for scammers in one form or another so please take extra care and ask yourself “is this a scam?”
The Citizen’s Advice Consumer Service has updated their scam awareness pages with COVID-19 scam advice. You can check if something might be a scam or what to do if you, or someone you know, has been scammed.
If you’d like advice about scams or if you need to report a scam, please contact the Citizen’s Advice Consumer Service on 0808 223 1133. They’ll also be happy to provide general consumer advice.
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