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Doorstep Sellers

Alert message sent 19/02/2020 12:07:00

Information sent on behalf of South Yorkshire Police


We have had a few reports of Doorstep sellers in the Dore & Totley area overnight. Please see the advice below, remember if you are not expecting a caller then the safest option is to not answer the door!

Doorstep Pedlars - It could be a scam

These are doorstep callers who target areas offering small household products for sale. These callers may claim to be ex-convicts attempting to mend their ways, however they are not part of any recognised rehabilitation scheme.

Please warn your neighbours, particularly elderly or vulnerable neighbours, not to open the door to strangers or buy or sell on the doorstep. Some doorstep callers may offer poor quality goods at inflated prices and if a caller is not genuine, they may be gathering information for future crime.

Please keep in mind that if cold callers don’t get any sales in your area, they are less likely to return.

How they work

The sellers may say that they are on a “rehabilitation course” arranged by probation services or other organisations trying to find people work. This is not the case and often they are known criminals. Probation services do not run such schemes.

They may show a card which claims to be a “Pedlars Licence” or work permit. They may also hand over a card saying they are deaf or dumb.

According to the police, the bag of household products is supplied by someone who employs them. The males / females are supplied with a full bag of household products (including the typical tea-towels!) and charged a minimal sum for the contents – it used to be £35. They can keep whatever they make, above this amount.

Usually they are deposited in an area from a transit van and given a list of streets to work. An hour or so later they are picked up and dropped off in another location. They often work from 9am to 9pm.

They will knock on a door, offering cleaning items which they know are cheap and of very poor quality; the householder also knows they are rubbish but that is part of the scam. Many people will purchase items and pay them out of their good nature as they have fallen for their story or, just to get rid of them. There have been cases of elderly residents handing over large sums as these people can be very persistent and confrontational.

TURN THEM AWAY
REMEMBER if cold callers don’t get any sales in your area, they are less likely to return.
Message sent by
Adrian Tolson (Police, PCSO, Sheffield South West)

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