Alert: Council warns residents after spate of doorstep scams

Published: Friday, 22 February 2019

Havering Council is reminding residents to be extra aware of scammers operating in the borough. Our Trading Standards team are regularly visiting community groups to let people know what to look out for and where to go for advice.

The action comes after a number of people in Havering have fallen victim to rogue traders on their own doorsteps.

One example saw a couple conned out of over £6,300 for roof repairs that were not needed after a bogus company knocked on their door to say work needed to be done.

The couple were then asked to pay the money into an account, which turned out not to be connected to the business. The case was reported to the Council and is now being investigated by Action Fraud.

Another case saw a resident receive a call from a person claiming be to a trading standards officer who told him he was owed £4,000 by the Council and asked for their bank account details so he could pay the money in. Luckily, the resident did not give any details and instead reported it.

Councillor Viddy Persaud, Cabinet Member for Public Protection and Safety, said:

“It is very easy to be taken in by someone or something that seems genuine but it turns out not to be.

“Our priority is to give advice and make sure our residents know what to look out for and be confident enough to question something if they have any concerns.

“We want to support local people to be aware of the signs, know where they can go to get advice. We want to help prevent as many people as possible from becoming victims of what is a nasty crime.”

What residents need to look out for

  • An unexpected telephone call or visit to your home, letter, email or text
  • The company isn’t familiar
  • Money is asked to be sent in advance
  • A quick response is asked for when it is not necessary
  • It asks for the transaction to be kept secret
  • You are asked to hand over bank and other personal details (the Council will never ask for payment details over the phone or email)

Advice is also available from the Citizens Advice, 03454 040506.

Scams should also be reported to Action Fraud or by telephone on 0300 123 2040.