Households in Highland Perthshire are being urged to remain vigilant to doorstep scammers who target homeowners preparing their homes for the cold winter ahead.
A representative from the local community watch group said:
“During the last fortnight, there have been reports of cold callers going door to door in communities across Scotland and offering:
- to remove moss from gutters;
- to tarmac driveways;
- to clean and seal driveways to prevent weed growth;
- to clean roofs and gutters
Care should always be taken when purchasing goods or services from cold callers to ensure you are not overcharged and are able to contact someone in the event of a problem with their goods or services.
You should never feel pressured to making a decision on the spot or allow a trader to start work right away or hand over any money without seeing proper paperwork.
To discourage scammers, you can request a ‘No Cold Calling’ sticker from your local Trading Standards office.
PC Greig Stephen, Crime Prevention Officer at Police Scotland spoke of how criminals have adapted for scams during COVID.
PC Stephen said:
“Unscrupulous criminals and gangs have certainly adapted to the changing environment.
“We’re in a unpresentend very difficult time for everybody in communiteis and busines and we fully expected criminals to adapt their tactics and start to think about covid related scams and fraud.
“The traditional methods of doorstep crime that we’re used to seeing – the bogus caller, someone attending your door to offer a trade or a service – that has never gone away.”
The Neighbourhood Watch group have issued some tips to avoid if you encounter a doorstep scammer:
- Close the door on uninvited callers
- Take time to think before making a decision – don’t agree to make any payments for goods or services on the spot
- Research – get at least 3 quotes and check 3 review sites. If you need to call a trader for emergency repair work, find someone who has been vetted through a national or local authority approved trader scheme.
- Verify that the caller is genuine
- Report suspicious behaviour to Police Scotland on 101 and report scams to Advice Direct Scotland. If you feel threatened or unsafe at any time, call 999.
You can get more information on safeguarding against doorstep scammers by visiting Trading Standards Scotland website at: https://www.tsscot.co.uk/priority-areas/doorstep-scammers
You can also sign up for Neighbourhood Watch alerts at: https://www.neighbourhoodwatchscotland.co.uk/sign-up-for-alerts