Warning over Birmingham doorstep scams and bogus callers after recent reports

West Midlands Police are warning the public to be vigilant after recent reports of doorstep scams and bogus callers operating in Birmingham. The force said criminals often impersonate utility workers and council staff to try to gain entry to your home under false pretences.

Police said criminals prey on vulnerability. Scammers use a variety of tactics to gain your trust, steal your money and valuables, or obtain your personal information.

Officers are urging residents to watch out for rogue traders as these unwelcome visitors often appear unannounced, offering urgent repairs or maintenance at inflated prices. They may pressure you into unnecessary work or perform shoddy jobs. Police have issued advice over what to look out for.

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Watch out for these red flags:

  • Unsolicited visits: Legitimate businesses typically arrange appointments beforehand. Don't feel obligated to open the door to unexpected visitors.

  • High-pressure tactics: Scammers often try to create a sense of urgency to pressure you into making a quick decision.

  • Suspicious requests: Be wary of requests to enter your home to check utilities or internet connections unless you have a pre-booked appointment.

  • Check identification: Always ask for official identification with a photo and company logo. Verify it by calling the company directly using a publicly listed phone number (not the one provided by the caller).

Protect yourself and your loved ones:

  • Install a peephole: Before opening the door, verify who's there through a peephole or a secure window.

  • Install a door chain: Consider installing a door chain which allows you to speak with someone without fully opening the door.

  • Don't be afraid to say no: You have the right to refuse entry to anyone you don't know or trust.

  • Never share personal information: Don't disclose your bank details, passwords, or national insurance number to anyone at your doorstep.

Always report suspicious activity: If you feel threatened or suspect a scam, contact the police immediately on 999. In non-emergencies, call 101. If you think you've been targeted by a scam, contact Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040 or at Action Fraud. If the scammer is still in the area, call 999.

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