Warning as door-step gangs target YOU in your home.
MEMBERS of the public are being warned about a spate of break-ins across the country involving conmen posing as door-to-door sellers.
Police forces across the country have been issuing alerts after a wave of crimes involving gangs of men who claim to be selling cleaning products but actually are scoping out the victims house in preparation for a burglary at a later date.
The crooks go between houses appearing to offer a range of cleaning products but are secretly checking how much cash may be in the house, whether the home is occupied or empty at certain times, how valuable the belongings are and how well protected the house is.
A few days or weeks later, a different member of the gang returns to burgle the house using the intelligence gathered by the initial doorstep trader.
Forces across the country have issued warnings to vulnerable residents, especially the elderly, and to be on their guard.
In some cases doorstep hawkers have forced their way inside a property after being told to go away.
Those who do pay up risk being added to a list of willing customers and are then targeted by other street sellers.
At the very least, officers say that doorstep ‘hawkers’ may try to pressure people into paying exorbitant prices for poor-quality goods.
According to Operation Repeat, which raises awareness about doorstep crimes, many of the victims have weekly visits from the conmen who begin selling items for £10 but quickly put up their prices, reaching as much as £60 or £70 for a single item.
One elderly man from Lincolnshire paid £550 for a selection of home cleaning products.
The scam is so effective because vulnerable residents often feel too intimated to refuse to pay the inflated prices.
In one case, Hampshire Constabulary raised the alarm about a group of men with northern accents carrying large black holdalls who were moving from one house to another selling cleaning materials.
If anyone tries to sell you something on the doorstep do not feel intimidated. Say sorry not interested and close the door.
Anyone feeling threatened should report this to 101 or if feel really threatened 999 if appropriate