Good Neighbours Stop Rogue Traders
If you read our scam awareness pages (accessed on the left of this page) you will see that there are a number of scams that target people directly in their homes. This may be through the post, over the phone or at the front door.
The Trading Standards Institute says that "research shows there could be as many as 170,000 incidents each year where rogue traders try to illegally extract money from consumers in their homes".
Additionally there is distraction burglary, a horrible crime, where thieves trick their way into homes in order to steal property.
Age UK have some useful advice on avoiding door step scams on their website. You can read this by clicking on the link on the right "Age UK - bogus caller advice".
Being at the wrong end of a scam can have a lasting effect on a person's life, especially if they are already vulnerable. Victims suffer loss of confidence and can become ill. See the Think Jessica link on the right for more information.
Spotting potential victims
The Trading Standards Institute has produced a guidance card that lists some of the signs that an unwanted trader may be visiting one of your neighbours. This can be found under related documents at the bottom of this page.
Being a good neighbour may help a vulnerable or elderly person remain confident and secure in their home environment.
Where you suspect that someone has been the victim of a scam you can try to encourage them to report it to Trading Standards or Action Fraud. If the victim is not able to do this please act on their behalf. There is a link to Action Fraud on the right hand side.
Charities such as Silver Line run confidential chat lines which provide a friendly non-biased ear to older people affected by scams. See the link on the right under related websites.
Door Step Crime
The Nominated Neighbour Scheme is aimed to encourage family, friends, neighbours and carers to intervene in the event that a vulnerable loved one or neighbour is approached by rogue doorstep traders.
You can help
Are you able to offer your neighbours additional support by acting as a go-between when some calls at the door? Make an arrangement so that when a trader comes they are directed to the nominated neighbour for verification purposes. You could also act as "chaperone" while the trader is present, ensuring your neighbour is not left alone.
Apply for our Nominated Neighbour pack
The pack contains advice leaflets for both the neighbour and nominee. There are forms and cards to complete for presentation to door step traders. To get an idea of the content have a look at the related documents saved at the bottom of this page.
- Trading Standards, 222 Upper Street, London N1 1XR,
- 020 7527 3198,
Additional sources of advice and support
On the right hand side of this page are links to a range of agencies that can offer advice and support. Here is a summary of who they are and what they do.
Think Jessica - a registered charity supported by countless agencies, organisations and police forces nationwide and committed to making people aware of the danger and financial implications caused by postal and telephone scams, educating professionals and protecting the most vulnerable members of our society from illegal practices
The Silver Line - a free confidential helpline (0800 4 70 80 90) providing information, friendship and advice to older people, open 24 hours a day, every day of the year.
Age UK - National charity campaigning and supporting on all issues affecting older people.
Help on your doorstep - A local charity that aims to make a difference to health and wellbeing in the community by empowering individuals to overcome the barriers they face and improve their lives.
SHINE (Seasonal Health Intervention Network) - This is a council facilitated service that will make referrals to a range of support agencies, including befriending services. See the link on the right under related pages.