There is always someone looking to make easy money. They come knocking at your door in many disguises! Some come with hard-luck stories; some come dressed as an official in uniform with ID; some try to sell you house-hold goods you don’t need; some are pushy ‘buy now’ rogue traders; and some ask you to take part in fake consumer surveys (they just want your personal data) …..
Unfortunately, these people tend to target the elderly in what we have all come to know as ‘doorstep scams’. Did you know that around 85% of victims are aged 65 and over, (National Trust Standards). Shocking statistics!
These scammers have a multitude of tricks up their sleeves, appear helpful and charming, have the proverbial gift of the gab, and in too many instances come across as extremely plausible. They are becoming more sophisticated and target the elderly as they are considered easy pickings.
It’s heart-breaking and can have a devastating effect on our elderly relatives and neighbours when they are caught in the net. As a busy society we don’t have time to be on hand 24/7 but we do have time to put preventative measures and tips in place!
Tips to stay safe
If you have elderly relatives or neighbours, here are a few ways to help them protect themselves:
- Put up a simple sign saying – No Cold Callers – “The door will NOT be answered unless you are expected”.
- If they are not expecting visitors, the safest thing to do is not to answer the door. If they do open the door, they should have a door chain and engage it.
- If they are home alone advise them to request the visitor come back when a family member is present. If the person is an honest tradesman, they will respect this immediately and hand over a business card.
- Help them set up passwords with genuine people who will visit, such utilities, etc. Ring your utility provider to set this up. Remind them that ID’s can be fake and to check with the Company before allowing entry. Without exception!
- Install a home security camera. This can act as a deterrent and will also record the person who visits. There are options available that will also record the audio.
- Nominate a neighbour(s). Share contact numbers with neighbours, so that they can alert them to call round if needed. Maybe set up a specific alert word.
- Advise them never to give bank information or pin numbers to anyone.
- If they feel threatened and want to report the incident advise them to call 101. If they are in immediate danger, they should call 999.
What to do if you feel you have been the victim of a doorstep scam
Firstly, do not be embarrassed to reach out and ask for help. You must report it to the police and also contact Action Fraud. By reporting the incident, you will help build up information that will help protect other people and help Action Fraud track down the scammers!
Guides to preventing fraud and cyber-crime are available from Metropolitan Police – you can download them – https://www.met.police.uk/littlemedia
There are also lots of home security options available. Have you thought about CCTV cameras for your home? Outdoor WiFi cameras are now reliable and affordable!
Why Opt for Outdoor Home Security Cameras
Smart home security cameras are a worthwhile investment. There are a wide range of outdoor security camera options to suit every budget and once installed will give added protection, act as a deterrent, and may also reduce insurance premiums.
There is no need to worry about the installation as these days majority of security cameras are wireless.
Home security cameras provide peace of mind and can be a great comfort to the elderly and vulnerable.
Posted on 23rd May 2020 by Time2 Technology