Police warn Falkirk residents not to be taken in by doorstep scammers
Rogue traders, bogus workmen and doorstep scammers are only able to operate if we let them and police have issued advice which can keep us from falling prey to these con artists.
A Police Scotland spokesperson said: “Doorstep crime is a problem that continues to plague our communities year on year. These incidents can have a devastating and lasting effect on victims from disruption to their homes, or property and financial loss that impacts heavily on their emotional well being and health.
“It's not always easy to spot a rogue trader. They will often look genuine. They will look professional, have a branded van, a website, and business cards.
"They may even have their company listed on review sites, and appear to be endorsed by reputable trade associations.
"They may look authentic, but cowboy traders just want to scam you. Don’t let scammers in to your home. Just say no.”
There are usually two main types of scammers – bogus callers and rogue traders.
Bogus callers will try to get into your home or get personal details by pretending to be council staff, charity collectors, meter readers and even police officers.
Rogue traders usually cold-call, claiming to be workers offering to carry out work on your property. In reality they charge inflated prices for shoddy or work that is not required.
Rogue traders will tell you the work needs to be done immediately and will will ask to paid there and then. They may even offer to go to the bank with you if you do not have the cash at hand.
To protect yourself against these criminals you can keep your front and back doors locked and be on guard if someone turns up unexpectedly, using the door viewer or a nearby window when answering the door.
You can fit a door chain or bar and keep it on when talking to callers at the door.
Always ask for identification badges, but do not rely on them as identity cards can be faked – phone the company to verify their identity
Do not feel embarrassed – genuine callers expect people to be careful.
Only let callers in if they have an appointment and you have confirmed they are genuine.
People can visit the website for more information and advice.