Conmen ‘target the vulnerable’

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A Winslow woman has warned people to be on their guard for doorstep conmen.

Ruth Ash said if the well-presented fraudsters turn up, people should shut the door and call the police.

She said: “I just want to alert people. They’re consistently in the area about four times a year and they’re very convincing.

“They’re called the ‘Nottingham Knockers’. They bus them down from Nottingham.

“They knock on your door, they flash you an official looking pass and they say: ‘I’ve just been released from prison and I need some money for an apprenticeship’. It’s an absolute scam.

“I’ve spoken to Thames Valley Probation Service and the officer said this is the third or fourth call they’ve had this week. They said there’s no way they’d ever endorse that. Basically, they’re begging under false pretences.

“They’re targeting elderly, vulnerable people. We need to let people know it’s a scam and they should shut the door and phone the police on 101.”

PC Matt Spenceley, who works in partnership with Trading Standards, said he had not come across any reports of this scam.

He added: “I would suggest, if this is taking place, fraud offences are being committed by these people, due to the false representation to make a gain, unless they are genuinely collecting for an apprenticeship which would obviously need to be proven by them.”

PC Spenceley advised: “Do not open the door to strangers, use the door chain when opening the door and don’t let strangers into your house.