Conservative led Wiltshire Council is advising residents to be wary of cold callers and scammers that are looking to take advantage of the current cost of living challenges.
Wiltshire Council's advice is for people to not engage with any businesses which cold call either at the door or by telephone. Some businesses operate in a less than ethical fashion, using 'hard sell' tactics to get a sale, and these traders usually target more vulnerable members of the community.
Examples of previous scams in Wiltshire include companies selling alarm systems, solar panels, roof repairs, loft insulation and gardening services. Legitimate businesses would not put a resident under pressure to buy a product or service quickly.
If something seems suspicious or too good to be true then people are advised not to engage any further. Nationally there have also been reports in recent weeks of people being sent texts claiming to be from an energy regulator and inviting people to "claim their rebate". If correspondence is genuine, a company will never push people into handing over any personal details, including bank account information.
Conservative Cllr Ian Blair-Pilling, Wiltshire Council Cabinet Member for Public Protection, said:
It's sad that some people are cruel enough to try and cash in on this challenging financial time, but that's the stark reality. The majority of businesses in the county provide excellent services in an ethical way, but they are being let down by those that just want to get a quick sale or people's money no matter what.
It's an old adage, but certainly still relevant - if it's too good to be true, then it probably is. If something doesn't feel right then please take a moment to consider if what you're being offered is genuine. Hard sell and scam tactics are getting more sophisticated but don't rush into any decisions and part with your money until you've checked that everything's ok.
As stated in our business plan, we'll do what we can to protect people through our public protection and trading standards services, and we'll continue to advise and raise awareness of these types of issues.
Action Fraud is the UK's national reporting centre for fraud and cyber-crime where people should report fraud if they have been scammed, defrauded or experienced cyber-crime. More details can be found on the Action Fraud website.
Advice can also be found on the Citizen's Advice website.