Beware of doorstep sales’ scam

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Villagers have been warned of rogue door-to-door salesmen operating in Northumberland.

A Longhorsley resident, who does not wish to be named, fell victim to the scam, which sees someone claiming to be a Dutch salesman selling kitchenware and knives at ‘knock-down’ prices as they are trying to get rid of stock from a trade fair before flying home.

However, the buyers are not offered a ‘cooling off’ period, and on closer inspection the goods are not of the high quality described.

The scam is known to authorities both in the UK and in Europe.

The Longhorsley victim said: “He was an incredibly good, plausible salesman.

“He started referencing other people’s names from the village and basically told a good story. You think you are getting a bargain and it’s not until he has gone that you realise you’ve been had.

“I just want to let other people in the area know what is happening.”

Northumberland Head of Public Protection Philip Soderquest said: “We encourage people to be very cautious when dealing with any unexpected callers.

“Residents need to be aware that many such callers do not represent legitimate businesses, the details given by them could well be false and that it is highly likely that the goods or services offered will either not be provided, or be of very poor quality.

“Unfortunately, people often hand over large sums of money and there is little or no likelihood of the individual being traced or the money being recovered.”

He advised that door-to-door sales people should have a pedlar’s certificate from police, but even then there is no guarantee about the quality of goods on offer.