THURROCK residents are being reminded to beware of bogus callers following reports of doorstop callers posing as council contractors.
There are three simple steps to take when faced with a doorstep caller:
STOP before you open the door.
CHAIN if you aren’t expecting anyone or don’t know who it is put the door chain on.
CHECK who is at the door. All reputable callers will have ID and will not mind waiting while their identity is checked.
Thurrock Council Portfolio Holder for Public Protection Councillor Angie Gaywood said: “Our general advice would be not to deal with doorstep callers but to use a reputable trader preferably someone who has been recommended.
“However there are of course individuals who will call at the door like meter readers. By following the three steps you can help protect yourself. Genuine callers, including those representing the council, will not mind if you check their identity even if they have to wait while you make a phone call.
”Council contractors should always have identification and to double check if unsure residents should ask for a job reference number and telephone the council to confirm.”
To help protect vulnerable residents from cold callers Thurrock has introduced No Cold Calling Areas (NCCA) in sheltered housing complexes. The joint initiative between the Council’s Trading Standards Team and Essex Police bans doorstep trading in these areas.
Trading Standards and police provide crime prevention advice and information as well as details on how to deal with doorstep and unwanted callers. Once an area becomes an NCCA residents are urged to report anyone touting for business to Citizens Advice Consumer Helpline on 08454 040506. This is also the number to ring to report a bogus caller.