Trading Standards Scotland and Police Scotland have launched a month-long, nationwide “Shut Out Scammers” campaign.
The campaign aims to raise awareness of doorstep crime, the mis-selling of energy efficiency measures, and other forms of financial harm people can be susceptible to. The campaign is designed to empower people, rather than make them fearful, and to encourage the reporting of scams.
What Does Doorstep Crime and Fraud Look Like?
Rogue traders and companies may attempt to exploit the cost of living crisis and scam consumers by providing misleading information about products and services, and posting misleading adverts and reviews online.
In addition to more traditional doorstep scams reported during the summer months (with rogue traders often offering to carry out home maintenance, gardening work or services such as gutter cleaning or pressure washing), fraudsters have adapted their methods to take advantage of people’s anxieties and uncertainties around the cost of living crisis.
According to a recent survey run by Trading Standards Scotland, some of the most common cold calls and scams in Scotland now relate to energy efficiency products, with over a third of survey respondents having been told by a cold caller that they were eligible to receive new insulation under a Government scheme.
Dishonest companies target those who want to save money on their energy bills, telling them that funding or grants are available for their products, yet asking consumers to pay for the products up front or take out a loan.
In many cases, consumers are told that they will receive their money back over time, but rarely do.
The “Shut Out Scammers” campaign will run until Sunday 14th May.
Further Information and How to Report Fraud and Doorstep Crime
For further information on the campaign, please visit the Police Scotland website.
Anyone who has been the victim of fraud, or who has given money to any rogue traders, should report this to Police Scotland by phone: 101, or 999 in an emergency.
People can also report doorstep scams to Advice Direct Scotland, who provide an advice and advocacy service, by using their helpline: 0808 164 6000 (Monday – Friday, 9am – 5pm), or visit their website.