If someone comes to your front door and tries to sell you something or asks for personal or financial details in your home it may be okay. It may be for a genuine reason that you are happy with and know about.
Sometimes it is a scam or a fraud. This is an attempt to steal your money and personal information.
It is known as doorstep crime. It is done by criminals. These criminals are known by different names.
If you have been a victim of doorstep crime
The law gives you the right to cancel a contract if you are not happy with it.
If you have agreed to buy products or have work done in your home and you were not told this it is a criminal offence.
Remember. If it sounds too good to be true it probably is.
If you think you have been a victim of doorstep crime, if you have information about bogus callers or if you suspect there are rogue traders in your area, please contact the Citizens Advice consumer helpline. You can choose to:
- call Citizens Advice on 0808 223 1133
Reporting doorstep crime in Solihull
If you know a doorstep crime has taken place you should report it to the police. You can choose to:
- report it to the police by calling 101
- report it to the police by visiting your local Solihull police station
You can also report it on the Action Fraud website or call 0300 123 2040.
To provide information about a crime that has been reported you can visit the Crimestoppers website or call 0800 555 111
Doorstep Safety in Solihull
Doorstep criminals can be very clever despite being cowards. This means they use many tactics to con their way into your home.
They often work in groups of 2 or 3. They choose vulnerable people and older people as their victims. They may pretend to be someone you trust. For example:
- thieves can pretend to be police officers
- thieves can pretend to be council workers (from Solihull Council, Birmingham Council or Coventry Council)
- thieves can pretend to be utility company workers (such as British Gas, Severn Trent, E.ON, npower and EDF)
If you are worried that a vulnerable adult is the victim of a crime or abuse you must report it to Solihull Council Adult Social Care team. You can choose to:
- call Solihull Connect 0121 704 8007
- report it on the Solihull Council website
You can also learn more about safeguarding vulnerable adults from Solihull MyLife.
Protecting yourself from crime
Taking a few simple steps can help make sure you do not become a victim.
Most firms and companies that need to visit your home to carry out work will always send you a letter or phone you first. They may also contact you online.
Most companies also allow you to create a password which you can use for additional security when you need to speak with them.
- always be suspicious if someone knocks at your door that you were not expecting
- always keep your front door and back door locked
- always use a door-chain or door-bar
- always use a door viewer or window to see who is there
If someone does knock on your front door that you were not expecting and do not want to speak to:
- do not answer the door
- do call the police on 101 if you are worried
If you feel threatened by someone at home call the police on 999.
You can learn more about home safety and security from Solihull MyLife.
Bogus workmen and fake workers may try to con you into paying for repairs to your home that you do not need. They can be very convincing and not give up.
If you feel threatened by anyone at home you should call the police immediately on 999.
If a worker tells you that your home needs repairs:
- you should remain polite but firm
- you should tell them you will think about it and get back to them
- you should tell them you need time to get other quotes
- you should tell them you need to discuss it with friends and family
If you need home repairs you should always use a company you trust. Solihull Trading Standards works with the No Rogue Traders Here scheme to help.
Solihull Community Housing may also be able to carry out repairs or alterations on your home.
You should never agree to work or buy services on your doorstep. If you do, never pay for work in advance.
If you have agreed to work or bought something in your home and you were asked to pay immediately it is a criminal offence.
If you think you have been a victim of doorstep crime you should contact the Citizens Advice consumer helpline. You can choose to:
- call Citizens Advice on 0808 223 1133
Bogus telephone callers
There are large numbers of phone calls being made to people in their homes which are bogus. These are also known as scam calls. Many of the con artists making the phone calls say they are from organisations like banks, telephone companies, Solihull Council and other organisations you might know.
These telephone criminals can lie to people and say that they have won something or have money for them when there is not any money.
The criminal will say that to get the money a small amount of money needs to be made to them.
The victims of the phone calls are then asked for personal and financial information. This information can be used to take money out of your bank account.
This is known as fraud.
If you receive a call which you suspect or know is a con or scam you should report it to Action Fraud. You can choose to:
- report it on the Action Fraud website
- report it to an Action Fraud advisor by calling 0300 123 2040
- report it to an Action Fraud advisor by Textphone to 0300 123 2050
You can also:
- read the 10 tips to stop cold calls from Which? consumer watchdog
Telephone Preference Service
Telephone Preference Service, often called just TPS, is the free opt out service which can help you stop calls you do not want.
For more information and to join the service you can visit the Telephone Preference Service website .