IN THE last twelve months, 66 reports about doorstep sellers have been lodged with the Isle of Wight Council's Trading Standards service.

The Isle of Wight Against Scams Partnership (IWASP) — which is currently investigating two complaints — has issued advice on doorstep crimes to help vulnerable residents during its awareness month.

Doorstep crime includes rogue traders, bogus calls and distraction burglary. It can include people knocking on your door, phoning you at home or posting leaflets through your letterbox, offering repairs or services using false logos, addresses and telephone numbers.

The average age of scam victims in the UK is 75.

Cllr Tig Outlaw, the council's cabinet member for community safety and public protection, said: "“The advice is not to let anyone into your home unless they are expected or known to you.

"Doorstep crime isn’t common, but it can have a long-lasting impact on victims’ lives.

"Remember, if you’re not sure about a caller, don’t open the door — if in doubt, shut them out."

A council spokesperson said: "Very often, people who have been victims of doorstep crime can feel embarrassed that they had fallen for the scam or are extremely vulnerable and do not know how to report this or who to talk to.

"The aim of the current IWASP campaign is to encourage reporting and arm residents with the knowledge to spot scams and doorstep crime in the first instance."

IWASP tips include:

- Always keep your front and back doors locked at all times, even when you are at home.

- Before you open the door, stop and think if you are expecting anyone. Before you answer, make sure no rear or side doors and windows have been left open. It may be that the caller is trying to distract you while someone else sneaks in.

- Consider fitting door chains.

- If you are expecting callers from a utility company or the council, set a password when you make the arrangements that the caller has to give on arrival. Ask to check their identity card and check they look like the person on the card.

- Do not buy goods and services from traders who call uninvited.

- Consider using the Trader Approved Scheme. The Trading Standards team has set up a register so that you can buy with confidence. For details of traders who have been assessed and are members of the scheme, visit or email

- Distraction burglars may ask to use your phone or ask for a glass of water — don’t worry if you choose not to help, it is not rude or unfriendly.

- Doorstep calling should always be reported to Trading Standards on 823371. If you require immediate assistance, call the police.

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