A shared service delivering Environmental Health, Licensing and Trading Standards across Bracknell Forest, West Berkshire and Wokingham Borough Councils

Doorstep crime and scams

Doorstep callers

If a doorstep caller is at your home now, or you have recently been contacted by one, call us immediately on 01635 519930.

If the trader has left then call the Citizens Advice Consumer Service (CACS) on 034 540 40506 or report it to us online here. 

What are doorstep callers?

Doorstep callers often known as cold callers are traders who make unsolicited visits or telephone calls in an attempt to sell goods or services. Unscrupulous traders often target the elderly, isolated householders and those who live alone. Their behaviour often follows the following pattern:

  • cold call to offer to carry out work for the householder at a low price. They may start work without permission claiming to have been asked for a quote
  • once work has begun, the price often increases quickly and claims that extra work is needed to complete the work are common
  • they may be verbally aggressive in order to pressure householders into paying or agreeing to extra work
  • they may use confusion tactics over quotes and pricing in order to make householders doubt what they thought they had agreed. Typically, there is nothing in writing. Often they will fail to provide the required notice detailing cancellation rights, which is a criminal offence and
  • sometimes they will offer to take householders to the bank to make cash withdrawals.

If someone comes to your door, observe this code:
Stop: Are you expecting anybody, have you arranged any appointments?
Chain: Secure the door bar or chain before opening the door.
Check: Ask for and double check the caller's ID. Legitimate traders will not mind you asking and should be able to prove who they are.

And remember these three key points:

  • Say NO to doorstep callers
  • If it seems too good to be true, it probably is 
  • Unsolicited phone calls - it's not impolite, it's your right to hang up.

Scams

Scams are a dishonest scheme designed to obtain money often through the use of false identities, confidence tricks or misrepresentation. Scams are becoming more common, especially online, and can include things such as email spoofing, lottery scams, phishing and requests for help.

Report a scam

You can report scams to:

The Citizens Advice Consumer Service
Online via their online reporting form
Telephone: 03454 04 05 06
(All these reports are forwarded to Trading Standards)

Action Fraud, the UK national fraud office
Online via their online fraud reporting tool
Telephone: 0300 123 2040

Associated links

PPP
Bracknell Forest
West Berkshire
Wokingham