Crime prevention advice issued for door-to-door sales
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We are warning residents in Test Valley to remain vigilant about doorstep sellers and fraud.
This comes after ten reports of doorstep sellers, known colloquially as ‘Nottingham Knockers’, were received in Andover yesterday (28 March).
Many legitimate businesses sell products door-to-door; gas, electricity and water companies need to visit to read your meters; and charities will often call seeking donations. But fraudsters may also knock on your door to part you from your money, or get into your home to steal from you.
The sellers are usually young men who go door-to-door selling household products at inflated prices. They will often claim to be working on behalf of a charity, to support their family, or that they are ex-offenders working as part of a rehabilitation scheme.
They may even show you an ID card before trying to sell to you, the company is unlikely to be legitimate and the card could be a laminated piece of card with a picture on it.
Usually, they work for an unregistered company and are transported to an area in a group to cold call on addresses. They won’t hold the license needed for this type of sale.
Sometimes the scam is used as a way of scoping out addresses for potential burglaries.
Sgt Richard Taylor said: “You should not feel under any obligation to buy from people on your doorstep.
“We would encourage residents to report all incidents to police, and to firmly but politely refuse the sales. We would discourage all purchases from doorstep sellers unless you are certain of their veracity.
“Should they become aggressive and refuse to leave, please phone us immediately on 999. If it is non-urgent and you wish to inform us of the incident, please call on 101 or report it via our website.”
Here is some advice on doorstep callers:
• Always use the door chain when answering the door - if you are not sure, do not open the door
• Anyone selling door to door needs a pedlar’s certificate, which you can ask to see
• Always check the credentials of unknown callers - do not phone the number on the ID card, use a phone book or a bill
• Never employ cold-calling doorstep traders or engage with cold callers on the phone
• Do not keep substantial sums of money in the home
• Always keep front and back doors locked
• Consider joining or setting up a No Cold Calling Zone or Neighbourhood Watch scheme
• Report any suspicious callers or activity to the police immediately
• Keep an eye on elderly or vulnerable neighbours, friends and family