Someone comes to your door and offers a service you haven’t asked for. They overcharge you, or never complete the work
How it can happen to you
- Someone knocks on your door and convinces you work needs to be done on your house – they might even start the work
- They ask you to start paying, and ask for more and more money – they charge far more than they quoted
- Alternatively, they ask you to pay in advance for materials, but never return to do the work
How to protect yourself
- If you’re paying a trader, do your research. Read reviews about them online, and talk to someone you trust before handing over any money
- Don’t believe anyone who unexpectedly tells you work needs to be done on your house. Talk to a friend or family member, or ask a trader you know is trustworthy
- Don’t be pressured into buying something from a doorstep salesperson. If you feel uncomfortable, close the door
What does it look like?
We've written a story that shows what a doorstep scam might look like. It describes common tactics we know scammers use, based on insights from our fraud and scams team.
Types of scams to watch out for
These are among the most common tricks currently used by scammers but they constantly come up with new ways to contact you, so be vigilant.
When someone pretends to be the police, a bank, a friend or business, to convince you to send them money.
When you’re invited to invest in things that are worthless, or don’t exist.
When fake or non-existent items are advertised for sale.
Advance fee scams
When fake companies ask for an upfront fee and then don’t provide the service you’ve paid for.
When account details on an invoice are changed, or emails are intercepted, so the money is wrongly paid into the scammer’s account.
When someone pretends to be interested in a romantic relationship with you. They gain your trust and then ask for money.
A scammer says they can make you money, and convinces you take a lump sum out of your pension – then steals it.
A rogue trader knocks on your door and pretends your house needs work – then overcharges you for it and often doesn't finish the job.
A scammer contacts you after someone has died, and says you owe money to pay off a debt or access a payout.
Phishing, smishing, and vishing
You receive an email, text message, or call claiming to be from a well-known company or organisation such as a bank or the police.
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