Officers from the Swale Community Safety Unit would like to remind residents of some crime prevention advice after receiving reports of suspected rogue traders operating in Minster.
It is reported that on Wednesday 21 June a man knocked on the door of a home in Minster Road and spoke with an elderly resident.
She was told that her roof was damaged and urgently needed to be repaired.
The victim paid £500 in cash for the work to be done and the next day the man returned with another male. They then demanded extra cash, stating more work had to be done than expected. This was handed over.
The men then demanded more cash from the victim but this time the request was refused. The work on the roof was not carried out.
On 30 June Kent Police received a report stating a similar incident occurred in April 2017 – this time the doorstep callers received a sum of money after they offered to carry out work on guttering.
The callers returned to the property in June and made further demands for money. They continued to contact the occupants by telephone throughout the month.
At present no arrests have been made but enquiries are ongoing.
Anyone with information is asked to contact Kent Police on 01795 419119 quoting XY/30619/17.
Alternatively contact Kent Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555111 or Citizens Advice Consumer Services on 03454 040506.
The following advice can help members of the public avoid becoming a victim to rogue traders:
- Lock your back doors and windows before answering your front door. Never leave your front door unattended. If you need to get something, close it until you return.
- Use a spyhole and ask who the caller is through the door first, then keep the door on the chain.
- Check the caller’s identification, even if they have a pre-arranged appointment.
- If you have any doubts about whether the caller is genuine, ask them to leave and come back at a time convenient to you. Ask someone to be with you for this agreed time.
- Contact Trading Standards with their vehicle details, company name, contact details and any other information you have.
- Before allowing any work to be carried out, it is best to obtain a quote or get a second quote from a recognised firm.
- Do not pay anyone for work before it is carried out.
- Never go to the bank to draw out cash if a lift is offered by the people who knock on the door.
supplied by Kent Police