Shut out scammers to beat doorstep crime

Partners including Police Scotland and East Ayrshire Council have joined forces to raise awareness of the tactics used by these unscrupulous traders.

This week partners set-up an advertising feature at Tesco, Kilmarnock to promote the national Shut Out Scammers campaign.

Shut Out Scammers campaign is designed to put a spotlight on those known to flaunt the law and provide substandard work offered predominantly around the doors.

Victims of bogus callers and doorstep crime are often unaware the crime has been committed, feel so embarrassed they are unable to make a report, and fear a loss of independence, while facing financial uncertainty in the future.  

Locality Policing Inspector Jason Peter said: “The message remains clear, ‘If In Doubt, keep them out.’

“Rogue traders and bogus callers are often convincing and they will use all tactics at their disposal to make their intended victim feel at ease and believe what they are being told.

“Shut out scammers brings together public, private and third sector organisations to help minimise risk and prevent harm to vulnerable and older people from criminals who commit doorstep crime. It operates as a preventative project, and encompasses engagement work with the general public, as well as enforcement activity to target criminals.

"Members of the local Safer Communities Delivery Group are committed to ensuring East Ayrshire residents feel safe in their homes and communities.  We all must work together to protect the most vulnerable.

“It is also important that householders have the confidence to politely decline, close the door and if they feel a caller is suspicious, to contact their local policing team or seek advice from Trading Standards regarding illegal practice or consumer protection.”

Councillor Jim McMahon, Cabinet Member for Older People and Community Safety said: “Since March, Trading Standards Officers have been busy tackling Covid-19 related scams and activity by unscrupulous individuals.

“Lockdown hasn’t stopped the scammers and they are ready to adapt to the crisis, targeting people at their most vulnerable. Reported scams include doorstep crime, with people offering to clean drives and doorways to kill bacteria.

“As life starts to return to normal it is important that we remind people to Shut out scammers and that we continue to work with our Community Planning Partners to protect the most vulnerable in our communities.”

To report doorstep crime or other suspicious activity call 101 (Always 999 in an emergency) Crimestoppers can also be contacted where anonymity can be maintained.