Police say vulnerable people are more at risk with an upsurge in doorstep crime – and doorstep selling – in Louth.
PC Ian Clark, of Louth Rural Neighbourhood Policing Team, is urging the community to come together to beat the doorstep tricksters.
He said: “Doorstep Crime is more targeted at individuals, usually vulnerable people, however the scams that these people embark upon can be quite elaborate and convincing, some are crude and intimidating.
“Many of these crimes go unreported as the victims, once they realise they have been duped, are too embarrassed to report the incident, either to family or police. The sad fact is, if a victim has been targeted once, they are likely to be targeted again, and again.
“Family, Friends and neighbours need to be on the lookout for doorstep crime offences. Work being carried out at short notice at a neighbour’s house, flyers being put through the door of vulnerable people, and strangers visiting vulnerable people are all potential indicators to doorstep crime.”
He says the community can help put a stop to these offences.
PC Clark said: “What can you do?
“Keep an eye out for family, friends and neighbours.
“Talk to neighbours, note registration numbers of vehicles visiting if you think there may be something untoward happening.
“If you suspect wrongdoing report it to Lincolnshire Police on 101 or 999 if it is happening there and then.
“Help prevent others becoming victims and help us to identify and catch the offenders.”
PC Clark is also concerned about doorstep sellers and is warning residents not to pass on their bank details to strangers.
He said: “Quite often we have reports of people selling food items and services at the door – the most common of these are fish sellers – please be aware that items purchased from people at the door may not be high quality or packaged/transported as you would expect from other sources.
“Other products sold at the door can include donations to charities.
“The people calling at the door are usually working through a company, on behalf of the charity, and they are trying to get people to sign up to a monthly direct debit to the charity.
“Passing banking details to strangers at your door is never a good idea and, if you wish to make either a one-off donation or a regular donation to a charity, I would recommend that you deal direct with the charity concerned.”
He says ‘No Cold Calling Zones’ and stickers saying ‘No Cold Callers’ may not prevent callers knocking at doors, but they do give home owners confidence to say “we don’t buy products or services at the door” or just to say “no, thank you” and close the door.
PC Clark said: “If you do not want what they are selling, do not engage them in conversation.”