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Police warn Wolds residents to be wary of aggressive door-to-door salesmen

Residents in Driffield and the Wolds are being warned to be vigilant and report incidents where door-to-door sellers start to become aggressive or intimidating after a number of incidents in the area last week.

People in the Driffield area have been receiving a knock on the door from the sellers in recent days, who appear to predominantly male and claim to be ex-offenders that have been released on bail.

The sellers, who on this occasion are believed to hail from the north east of England but are often widely referred to as ‘Nottingham Knockers’, have been wearing rucksacks which contain items such as cleaning products.

Reports from those who have been targeted suggest that the men have aggressively approached their ‘customers’, leaving many feeling vulnerable.

Many of those who have been approached are also questioning whether the men, who are thought to have been dropped off in the Capital of the Wolds in a van, are genuine salespeople or part of a scam operation

Humberside Police officers are asking those living in the Wolds Weekly patch to be aware of the door-to-door salespeople and call the non-emergency number 101 to report any suspicious or troubling incident.

“We have had some reports of men selling household items door-to-door recently, which if done within the law is perfectly legal,” said Inspector Andy Beadman, who works in the Neighbourhood Police Team.

“However, we have had a lot of concerned residents saying that when they have refused to buy anything from the men, they are became aggressive and threatening.

“Local residents have been offered bogus caller advice which says not to answer your door to anyone you don’t know and not to buy any goods on the doorstep as you cannot guarantee the quality or have any recourse if the items are faulty.

“We understand these men are saying they are ex-offenders and are looking to earn money on release from prison.

“To find work after serving a jail term is to be commended and helps to prevent people from re-offending but we must make sure this is done without harassing people on their doorsteps.

“Anyone being threatened or intimidated by doorstep sellers should call us on our non-emergency number 101.

A Humberside Police spokesperson added: “Frequently, older residents report that they have felt intimidated or threatened by cold callers and doorstep sellers.

“There are many types of doorstep scams. Some of the most common scams include rogue traders, a cold caller may offer a service you don’t really need.

“They may claim to have noticed something about your property that needs work or improvement and offer to fix it at an inflated price.

“Bogus officials, a scammer may claim to be from your utility company as a way of gaining access to your home.

“Always ask to check their ID, if they’re genuine, they won’t mind.

“Fake charity collections, a fraudster may pretend they’re from a charity and ask you to donate money, clothes or household goods.

“All legitimate charities have a charity number that can be checked on the Charity Commission website.

“Made-up consumer surveys, some scammers ask you to complete a survey so they can get hold of your personal details or use it as a cover for persuading you to buy something you don’t want or need.

“Hard luck stories, someone may come to your door and ask you to help them out with cash, to use your telephone or claim they’re feeling unwell.

“We advise that you don’t open the door to strangers, or to anyone who cannot provide valid ID.

“Avoid buying goods from doorstep sellers, the quality of the goods cannot be guaranteed and if there’s a problem with the item, it’s likely you’ll have no means of obtaining a refund.”

For more advice, visit www.humberside.police.uk/keeping-safe or www.ageuk.org.uk/information-advice/money-legal/scams-fraud/doorstep-scams.

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