These are the doorstep scams to watch out for in Lancashire after pensioner is swindled out of £20,000

People are being warned of a surge in doorstep scammers targeting homes in Lancashire.

Wednesday, 4th March 2020, 2:01 pm

Police said scammers are targeting homes across the county with reports of cold call incidents surging in recent weeks.

High pressure doorstep sales tactics are being used on home owners to try and persuade them to pay for poor quality goods or services.

Lancashire County Council is now urging people to beware of scammers using the following ploys to try and gain your hard-earned money.

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Doorstep scams to watch out for in Lancashire

Static caravan owners are one target group who are being pressured into buying floor insulation from cold callers.

One caravan owner in Fylde has reported handing over £4,000 to cold callers before realising the work had not been completed.

Also in the Fylde area, doorstep callers are reportedly selling household goods, claiming to be on a 'pre-release' scheme from Kirkham Prison.

Reports of doorstep scams are surging across Lancashire in recent weeks

The 'former prisoners' claim they are trying to 'turn their lives around' whilst selling inferior goods for inflated prices.

HMP Kirkham has said it has no affiliation with any such scheme and the doorstep story is false.

What should you do?

Trading standards are advising people to "just say no" to cold callers at all times and never be pressured into making a decision on the doorstep.

It said people can use the Lancashire Safe Trader scheme to find a reputable tradesperson to do work.

County Councillor Albert Atkinson said: "Everyone should be aware of cold callers and we advise that the public always say no to them.

"They use tactics like persistent phone calls or visits, which pressure vulnerable people into paying for work that is carried out to a poor standard or does not get completed.

"There are still plenty of reputable firms out there that can be used instead of accepting the services of cold callers."

Lancashire County Council is also advising people to avoid maintenance contracts on previously installed solar panels.

It follows a report from a retired lady with memory difficulties who paid £20,000 for one of these contracts.

Trading Standards also said other phone and online scams are making the rounds, including scam Amazon calls.

In one variation, the caller claims that the householders' Amazon account has been renewed and asks for their bank details where they claim a refund will be issued.

In addition, Her Majesty's Courts and Tribunals Service is asking people to stay vigilant against fraudsters posing as enforcement officers and bailiffs.

The scammers phone members of the public and claim they owe the caller money.

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This is actually likely to cost more for customers and in some cases the carpets have not been fitted until weeks after the payments have begun, with a range of reasons provided.

Any refunds on deposits are being made difficult for customers to get back.

County Councillor Atkinson added: "People need to be extremely wary of these schemes. Card details should never be given out over the phone.

"The court service may contact you by phone to discuss a warrant of control and may take debit or credit card payments, however, they will never telephone you to ask for your bank details.

"Always contact trading standards for advice if you're unsure about anything."

You can contact Trading Standards via the Citizens Advice Consumer Helpline, 03454 04 05 06.

To find a reputable trader in your area, you can visit www.safetrader.org.uk or call 0303 333 1111.

You can report a scam to Action Fraud by visiting www.actionfraud.police.uk or call 0300 123 2040.