Doorstep Crime – a partnership approach

West Dunbartonshire Council serves 91,000 residents and a lively business community in an area stretching from the banks of Loch Lomond to the shores of the Clyde.

West Dunbartonshire Council serves 91,000 residents and a lively business community in an area stretching from the banks of Loch Lomond to the shores of the Clyde. The region is one of great diversity and natural beauty, just half an hour from the heart of Glasgow, and includes the towns of Clydebank, Dumbarton and Alexandria.

West Dunbartonshire Council Trading Standards are aiming to maximize the benefit of neighbourhood watch and neighbourhood messaging in their area through an effective partnership with Neighbourhood Watch Scotland, Police Scotland, Ministry of Defence Police and other community safety partners. This partnership has a core aim of getting the right information, to the right people, at the right time and allow individuals and groups to take steps to increase their safety and well-being.
In future newsletters we will keep you posted about developments in West Dunbartonshire.

Recent Scam Alerts from West Dunbartonshire Trading Standards

Residents who use Gumtree and Facebook to sell items online are being warned not to fall victim to advance fee fraud where sellers receive an email confirming the sale of the goods but advising a courier will collect the goods on the buyer’s behalf. The seller receives a fake payment confirmation and is asked to pay the courier fee. Once the payment is made, the item is not picked up and the money paid for the courier is lost.

Residents are advised to be wary when buyers offer to buy items at full price without viewing them and urges sellers to check their validity before parting with any money. Residents should avoid paying any advanced fee or arrange their own courier. Check all details as online feedback will give useful information about recent transactions.

In another scam, Trading Standards have received calls from concerned residents saying they have been contacted by fraudsters claiming to be from Scottish Water or the Government.

An elderly couple had been contacted by a fraudster claiming to be from Scottish Water. During the phone call the caller claimed their water supply was contaminated and asked the resident go to a specific web address for more information. Luckily the resident became concerned and asked if they could call back when their daughter was home. The number given is now known to be false. Scottish Water confirm they would never ask residents to access their website.

A string of itunes scams are taking place asking people to make payments over the phone. The fraudsters are using iTunes Gift Cards as part of their scams, and it is important that we make our consumers aware of this. In a recent case the resident was requested to purchase £300 worth of iTunes vouchers from a local supermarket in order that she would be accepted for a £1000 loan. There are several variations of this scam with the name of several large organisations being used to trick people into thinking the call is legitimate.

Tony Cairns, Trading Standards Service Co-ordinator, said: 

We in Trading Standards hear too regularly of vulnerable people being scammed out of their money and it is important that we raise awareness among these groups and their carers so that they can avoid the pitfalls. We believe that the partnership working we are developing with Neighbourhood Watch Scotland, the police and other
West Dunbartonshire Council services will be a major step in protecting the public.

Remember these types of scams will not be localised to West Dunbartonshire so it’s good to be prepared.

Trading Standards advice is always to:

  • Ask for identification and use a security door slot or chain if you have one
  • Only invite visitors in to your home
  • if you have arranged the visit
  • Turning people away from your door if you’re not comfortable
  • Arrange another date and time when a relative can be with you
  • Never keep large amounts of money at home
  • Never give any personal information
  • Never use any number given by the caller, instead look it up online