Vulnerable pensioners are just some of the people the Council is urging to be more cautious when dealing with door-step callers offering goods and services.

The warning is part of a national campaign, Scam Awareness Month running this July.

Only this week (w/c 25 July), cowboy builders Anthony Pritchard and John Birks from Alvaston were imprisoned for making a 75-year-old man pay £10,000 for “shoddy work”. The pair were sentenced to eight and ten months in prison by Derby Crown Court.

Councillor Shanker, Cabinet Member for Regulatory Services said:

“We all want to see the best in people, sadly, criminals take advantage of that. During Scam Awareness Month, we are encouraging residents to be cautious about anyone who calls at their door offering their services.

If someone approaches you in your home or on the street, then ask to see their identification. Don’t be rushed, resist pressure to make a decision straight away. A genuine person will not mind you asking and will be happy for you to think about accepting their offer.

“If you are thinking about getting work done to your home then get three quotes and use an approved supplier. Don’t let anyone in your home if you have any doubts.”

Ivan Thompson, Principal Trading Standards Officer at Derby City Council, added:

“We want people to be vigilant about rogue traders and scams all year round. We are also advising people not to buy any goods or services online if they are unsure about the supplier.”
The campaign is being run by Citizens Advice and The Chartered Trading Standards Institute (CSTI) – and is being supported by local authorities and charities across the UK.

Gillian Guy, Chief Executive of Citizens Advice, said:

“Scammers target people in all sorts of ways, including online, over the phone or even at their own front door. If you suspect someone is running a scam or are worried you have been the victim of a bogus officer you can get help from Citizens Advice consumer service.”
Anyone concerned about scams can telephone the Citizens Advice Consumer Helpline on 03454 040506 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.