The latest scam identified as happening in Enfield is the drain scam where residents are told their drains are blocked and a £2,000 refundable deposit is required to hire the equipment to clear them, the victim is usually driven to a bank to take the money out but once they hand the money over the fraudsters disappear with the cash.
Enfield Council’s Trading Standards team heard of the scam after Barclays Bank in Enfield Town rang them to warn them they had blocked an elderly man from withdrawing £2,000 from his bank account and prevented three fraudsters from completing the con, and now the council is keen for other people to be aware of the latest method con men are using to cheat money out of residents.
The council is also publishing a list of icons fraudsters use to identify potential victims and advises residents to ring the police if they spot them on properties and advising residents not to be tempted to borrow a little extra Christmas spending money from loan sharks.
Enfield Council’s Cabinet Member for Environment, Cllr Chris Bond, said: “Conmen generally target the most vulnerable members of society with these scams and we are trying to educate people about the most common types of scams so people can spot them and tell these doorstep fraudsters to get lost.
“These are particularly cruel crimes because they invariable affect the elderly and vulnerable and result in them losing large sums of money. We are also keen to encourage anyone who might spot any suspicious markings such as the ones on the list, to contact police so they can investigate.
“We are determined to reduce crime in this borough and we will not allow our most vulnerable residents to be targeted by amoral and ruthless criminals.
Enfield Council is also keen that Christmas isn’t ruined by loan sharks and we’d strongly advise residents not to resort to door-to-door loan sharks.
It is a better idea to contact Credit unions which are financial co-operatives owned and controlled by their members. They offer a range of saving options and provide affordable loans. You can save as much or as little as you like and as often as you wish.
Residents can pay in at convenient local shops or collection points, by standing order or directly from your wages. Access to your money is available through a pre-payment card, cash cheque or money paid into your account.
Credit unions aim to pay a dividend on savings once a year to all members. Life savings insurance is included, making it easy to build up a useful nest egg for you and your family.
Enfield Council is also offering the following advice
If you are approached by any person offering to carry out repairs to your property turn them away and Call Citizens Advice on 08454 040506 who will refer the matter to Enfield Trading Standards who will contact you.
If you feel threatened or suspicious ring 999
Dealing with Doorstep callers – Don’t be deceived at the Door
How do uninvited doorstep sellers operate?
• Usually they “cold call” i.e. knock at your door without invitation.
• Persuade the resident to have work done that is not necessary – typically, to the roof, driveways, gutters and fascias or general garden work.
• Often they will say they are only working in the area for the day
• They may say they want more money giving you poor reasons as to why they want the extra money.
• Will not give you a “cooling off” period which you are legally entitled to
• Will not give you written notice detailing your right to cancel the contract.
Don’t rush to part with your money. You should always use a reputable trader and get three quotes for the work.
Visit Enfield Council website www.enfield.gov.uk and type in the search box: ‘responsible contractors’ for a list of contractors who have signed up to trading responsibly.
Remember say “no thank you” and close the door. If the trader refuses to leave when asked, call the Police on 999.
A Loan Shark is someone who lends money without a license. Loan Sharks rarely, if ever, give any paperwork and if payments are missed they often use intimidation and violence to get money from their 'clients'. Enfield Trading Standards and The Illegal Money Lending Team are here to help.
If residents have you been offered a cash loan, been threatened when they couldn't pay, had their bank card been taken from them as a security or found the money they owe keep growing even though they are making payments, they should contact the Illegal Money Lending Team in confidence:
Hotline - 0300 555 2222 (open 24/7) or e-mail: email@example.com or by text loan(space)shark(space) + your message to 60003 or by private message at www.facebook.com/stoploansharksproject