Warning to residents following reports of doorstop scammers
- Credit: EMMA MORRIS
Residents have been warned to be vigilant after an Essex woman was approached by a suspected scammer at her front door.
Emma Morris, from Stour Road, Harwich, said a woman who approached her house and asked to speak to her wife was not the representative from E.on she claimed to be.
The woman then asked for access to the electric meter, which Mrs Morris didn’t have access to.
The caller, who was wearing a lanyard with an identity card, and carrying a clipboard, handed Mrs Morris a letter addressed to her wife in her maiden name.
This prompted her to call E.on company to query the choice of name.
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Mrs Morris said: “I thought I’d be more aware if someone was trying to scam us or whatever they were trying to do but I had no idea she wasn’t from E.on.
“We only rang E.on to see why they had my wife’s maiden name and not her married name as she’d updated the name previously.
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“They then said they wanted meter readings and my wife said she’d ring back the person on the letter and they questioned this.”
It was at this point that suspicions were raised on both sides of the phone line.
She added: “My wife told them the persons name and number on the letter and they said they have no one with that name or number that works there.
“They asked us for a hologram on the letter, there wasn’t one -when looking at the letter it looked fake, just printed off a normal printer. The account number on the letter was also fake.”
Another red flag came from the woman’s attire, wearing “smart clothing” in contrary to the company’s standard red uniforms.
It remains unknown what would have happened if she had contacted the number, although she fears the woman would have asked for a payment of some sort.
Following the incident, Mrs Morris has warned fellow residents on Facebook, adding she will now ignore the front door in future.
In an advisory video on dealinging with bogus officials, Essex County Council Trading Standards said: “Think long and hard about saying yes at the door - no matter how polite people are.
“If you’re in doubt, or if you think someone you know is being targeted, call Trading Standards in confidence on 03454 040506.”