May 1, 2012 / Leave a comment / Permalink

Doorstep scam targets Shrewsbury

Related topics: Community / Money / My area

Shropshire Council’s trading standards service is warning residents to be mindful of a scam dubbed the ‘Nottingham Knockers’ working in the area.

This comes after a worried Shrewsbury resident described recent encounters with door-to -door sellers, who claimed to be on early release programmes from Nottingham and Derby prisons, in which they attempted to sell dusters and similar articles, apparently to build up their CV.

Named after a scam originating in Nottingham, young people travel across the UK targeting a town at a time.

They knock at doors and claim to be ex-convicts attempting to mend their ways, before trying to sell the householder everyday household products at very high prices.

Trading Standards always advise residents to refrain from buying at the doorstep and not to buckle to pressure from salespeople offering supposedly one-off ‘buy it now’ low prices. However, often kind-hearted residents feel they are helping these alleged former convicts to turn their lives around, so agree to buy their wares.

David Edwards, trading standards service manager, said:

“These people work in groups across the country but they are not involved in any officially recognised offender rehabilitation programme, and many do not possess Pedlar’s certificates, which are issued by police and are necessary for salespeople to be legally allowed to sell door-to-door.”

Steve Charmley, Shropshire Council’s Cabinet member responsible for public protection, added:

“If any salesperson comes to your door, we’d suggest you take sensible precautions, and ask to see their Pedlar’s certificate – these are only issued to individuals under very strict conditions. You can contact the police station it was issued at in order to prove if it’s genuine.”

Shrewsbury police officer PC Mike Dulson said:

“Do not feel compelled to buy anything from strangers calling at your home.  Our advice is never to let strangers who knock on your door inside the premises.

“Even if callers appear genuine, don’t be pressurised into buying goods you don’t want.  If your suspicions are raised, or if you have any concerns whatsoever, call the police immediately on the 101 number.”

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