News and Scam Alerts from Coventry Trading Standards - 13 March 2020

Having trouble viewing this email? View it as a Web page.

News and Scam Alerts from Coventry Trading Standards - 13 March 2020

In this issue:

Beware doorstep cold callers

Doorstep Crime

Trading standards have had two worrying reports regarding doorstep cold callers, one of which sadly resulted in a distraction burglary.

This incident happened in the Walsgrave area. An elderly lone resident was approached on the doorstep by a male who claimed to be on a Youth Offending Programme from Middlesbrough, and subsequently obtained access to the property.

It is alleged he was trying to sell cleaning cloths.

His ID consisted of a tatty, part typed, piece of paper in a small sandwich type bag, with no photograph.

The second incident occurred in the Coundon area of the city.

A male was going door to door claiming to represent ‘Money Saving Expert’ and wanted to discuss householders’ gas and electricity supply.

Although wearing an ID badge, there was no company logo and it looked very unprofessional.

At one door, the householder was questioned at length regarding who they knew in the area, and who lived where. As there was concern this maybe someone carrying out a ‘reccy’ on the area, the resident gave little away. When then asked for their telephone and email address, which was refused, the caller became rude and unpleasant, and thankfully left.

Money Saving Experts name has been used in numerous fraud attempts.

On their website, they state they WILL NEVER call anyone unsolicited, be it on the telephone, or on the doorstep and advise;

If this happens to you, do not give any information out. If you have time, please also let us know all the details by emailing, so that we can try to take action to stop it happening in the future.

Trading Standards advice is to always be on your guard for such unsolicited approaches, and to stay vigilant especially if you have vulnerable or elderly people living nearby who may be potential targets.

Top of page

And the telephone cold call


In another report from the Finham area, Trading Standards have been made aware of a very odd telephone call that was alleged to be made by a council worker:

The caller had requested that the resident came and opened their front door. The council had been made aware there were issues with the door and were outside waiting to inspect it.

The resident initially believed it was a mistake, as the property is privately owned, and asked for confirmation of the name of the person they were there to see, and the address. At this time, they could not see if there was anyone at their door.

A vague Earlsdon address was given, with no house number or residents name, which alerted suspicions. The caller then asked for confirmation of the residents’ address which was refused, and the call terminated.

Any visit by a council officer will usually be made by appointment in advance.

If at your door, Council Officers or callers from any other genuine business or organisation will always carry identification, usually with their photograph on.

If the caller is claiming to be from a local authority, government body or the Police, always make independent enquiries with that authority using a publicly listed telephone number. Information provided by the caller, such as telephone numbers, should not be relied upon when making checks - it may be the number of a crook's partner. Use a locally listed telephone number rather than one they may provide.

Top of page

Coronavirus: The scammers are there already

The BBC have reported that Cyber-criminals are already targeting individuals as well as industries, including aerospace, transport, manufacturing, hospitality, healthcare and insurance.

Researchers at cyber-security firm Mimecast flagged this HM Revenue and Customs email scam a few weeks ago. On the morning they detected it, they saw more than 200 examples in just a few hours.


If a member of the public clicked on "access your funds now", it would take them to a fake government webpage, encouraging them to input all their financial and tax information.

Read the full BBC report on this and other coronavirus related scams.

Top of page

National news: Cold callers are targeting homes pretending to be checking for coronavirus

Door Knock

Nationally, there have been reports to Trading Standards that scammers have been targeting homes claiming to be "checking houses for coronavirus".

The cold calling scam has happened in Blackpool, though it could inspire others to try a similar tactic.

Trading Standards advise this is a scam to gain access to your property. Do not, under any circumstances, let them in.

If you have elderly or vulnerable relatives, friends or neighbours - please do make them aware.

Anyone with information about such incidents are asked to contact the Citizens Advice Consumer service on 0808 223 1133.

Alternatively, residents are urged to contact police on 101 or 999 if they feel threatened.

Top of page

For more information on scams, visit:

How to report scams