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Scams awareness month is running in July 2015 with the theme 'Don't be Rushed, Don't be Hushed'. It aims to equip people to know how to stop being rushed, hushed and scammed by scammers who call or turn up at the door.

Many legitimate businesses sell products door-to-door (windows, solar panels, cleaning products, home maintenance, tree surgeons etc.) Gas, electricity and water companies will also visit to read meters. In addition, charities will visit to ask for donations or post collection bags for you to fill and leave out for collection.

However, scammers also do the above to part you from your money, gain entry to your home to steal, or profit by posing as charities in order to collect donations.

What you should know:

  • Door-to-door scams involve selling goods or services that are not delivered or are very poor quality. You won’t get value for money and you may get billed for work you didn’t want or didn’t agree to.
  • Some scammers conduct surveys so that they can obtain your personal details or disguise their real intent to sell you goods or services you don’t want or need (e.g. unnecessary roofing work or patio replacement).
  • Door-to door sales people are normally uninvited. But, they MUST leave if you ask them to.
  • Even when a genuine business and product is being sold, unscrupulous employees can sometimes still act illegally.
  • If someone knocks at your front door claiming  to be from a company, always check their identity. If you are not happy then do not let them into your home.

Remember:  If someone knocks at your door, always examine and check their identification.

Caution: Never let anyone in your house unless they are someone you know and trust.

Think: Don’t immediately agree to any offer involving a significant amount of money, time or commitment. Seek independent/legal advice first.

Investigate: If you are interested in what a door-to-door salesperson has to offer, take time to find out about their business and their offer. Shop around to make sure you are getting a good deal. Confirm with charities that they are collecting in your area.

Contact your local Trading Standards if you are unsure about a trader that comes to your door. The Citizens Advice Bureau may also be able to help.

Further advice can be found at: www.sussex.police.uk or by downloading the 'Little Book of Big Scams'.