Warning after reported doorstep scam

Police
Police

A warning against doorstep callers has been issued after a man posed as a council officer to gain bank details from a vulnerable person.

Trading Standards want people to be careful who they answer their door to after an elderly gentleman was targeted in Bradville.

One hour after missing a knock on the door, the resident took a call from a male claiming to be called John Harris working for Milton Keynes Council’s Trading Standards team.

This person claimed that they had raided a traders’ records and found the elderly gentleman’s details in the “traders” file.

He also claimed that TS had taken a lot of money from the trader and he wanted to reimburse the resident for the money he had paid out for roofing work four years earlier.

The resident had in fact had some work done on the roof previously.

The man claiming to be Mr Harris wanted to come to the resident’s home and pick him up, take him to the office to sign some paperwork and hand over the cash.

But the resident put off the caller who said he would call back later once he had thought about it.

A further call was received within the hour from the same mobile number which the resident ignored.

Sue Crawley, Trading Standards team manager, said: “Needless to say this was not someone from Milton Keynes Council’s Trading Standards Department and is very likely to have been a scam to attempt to obtain financial details from the resident.

“Residents need to be on their guard for this type of incident. If in doubt, do not open your door to someone, always ask for ID, and if you’re still unhappy, don’t let them in, and if you feel the need, call the police.”

A Thames Valley Police spokesperson added: “These criminals use the element of surprise to confuse their victims and the advice is to stop, think and take time to consider what you are being told.

“You should never give your bank or building society details to anyone who calls at your door or on the phone.

“If someone calls at your door and it is not a friend/carer/relative or a pre-arranged appointment, you should not open the door. You can shout through the door or letter box or use an intercom if fitted. 

“There is no reason why you should ever need to let a stranger into your home. If you are concerned or worried call the police.”