This week is Doorstep Crime Awareness Week and Hull City Council’s Trading Standards team has issued advice to residents on how to beat scammers.
Local authorities and police in Humberside are teaming up all week to help prevent residents falling victim to scams.
Hull’s Trading Standards officers have issued a call for unsolicited leaflets delivered to homes. While these could simply be adverts for legitimate businesses, they are also a tool used by criminals to find victims.
A box has been placed at the front desk of the Guildhall in Lowgate, Hull, with those who have recently received a leaflet offering gardening, roofing or home improvement services urged to drop them off or take a photo and email it to [email protected].
Anyone submitting a leaflet is asked to provide their postcode if possible. Submissions will remain anonymous and be used to help officers identify problem areas.
Councillor Mike Thompson, portfolio holder for public protection at Hull City Council, said: “We don’t want to scare people and, of course, there are many legitimate doorstep traders. However, we know that rogue traders and doorstep criminals do frequently find their victims this way.
“Being doorstep-wise is important and could prevent you – or a vulnerable person you know – becoming a victim. There is lots you can do to check whether a business is legitimate and one of our aims this week is to make people aware of what those things are.
“Where people do have concerns, or think they may be affected by doorstep crime, we would urge them to contact our Trading Standards team, who can support and advise.
“Finally, anyone who is a victim mustn’t feel ashamed. It’s not your fault if this happens to you and it’s crucial to report it so that the team can help you and also prevent others becoming victims too”.
Top tips to spot crooks are:
- Someone calling at a property suggesting work is carried out
- Nuisance phone calls
- A trader asking for payment upfront and/or offering to take someone to a bank to withdraw money
- Substandard work.
Throughout this week, officers will be carrying out targeted distribution of 2,000 advice leaflets and stickers, focussing on areas where people may be more at risk.
On Thursday, Trading Standards officers will join police colleagues for an information event at Morrison’s supermarket in Holderness Road.
Get more advice by calling Citizens’ Advice Consumer Service on 03454 040506.