Be on guard against cold calling conmen

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POLICE in Brighouse are warning residents to be on their guard against conmen calling at homes unannounced.

There have been reports of people ‘cold calling’ at homes in the area and trying a variety of tactics to either gain entry to the property or offer to carry out some work before asking for the money upfront to buy materials.

“These people particularly target the elderly and vulnerable and we are asking people to keep any eye on their elderly neighbours or relatives and to be suspicious of anyone who calls on them offering to do work or to go inside the house for some reason,” said Detective Inspector Tony Nicholson of Calderdale CID.

“Genuine salesmen coming to the door won’t have a problem with waiting on the doorstep and will not ask for money up front in cash.”

“The first visit can sometimes be followed by another from apparently different people offering to do the work for a better price. Over a number of visits people can be pressured into parting with sums of money with little or no work being done.

“They will ask for more money and come up with various reasons why extra work needs to be done. They’ll often be quite intimidating and will drive people to the bank to draw money out.”

Police have given advice that people should only have work done at their homes by established reputable firms and ideally on the recommendation of a friend who has had work done by them.

If people have doubts they should check firms out with local trading standards.

Calderdale Council is also warning of a suspected Council Tax scam with people posing as council officers over the phone.

They recite the householder’s name, address and date of birth then inform them that they are to receive some of their Council Tax money back, and require their bank details.

If there is an overpayment the council would not telephone to ask for bank details. People should ask for a contact name and call them back on 0845 245 8000 if they have any doubts.