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Wednesday, March 8, 2017

County issues rogue callers alert

Denbighshire residents are advised to be alert following reports of rogue callers impersonating council tax officers.

One man turned up unexpectedly at a house in Prestatyn and stated that he was investigating council tax arrears owed by a previous resident.

No person of that name is known to have previously lived at the address. The householder acted prudently and refused entry to the caller before reporting the incident to North Wales Police and Denbighshire Council the following day.

The caller was driving an unmarked white van and was wearing a lanyard with an identification card which was not shown. He failed to introduce himself and left no paperwork at the address.

A representative from the council tax service has confirmed that no employee of the service was in the area at that time and explains that council employees are instructed to always wear identification, hand it over for inspection and will always leave details of who they are.

The council says it has also received reports of other incidents  in the Rhyl, Prestatyn and Dyserth areas. The first relates to a lone male who stated he was from a money saving website who is believed to be trying to sell insurance, but information on this is limited.

The second incident relates to a group of males knocking door to door selling cleaning products and small knick-knacks, again information is limited on these individuals.

Councillor David Smith, Cabinet Lead Member for Environment, said:  “The council is committed to tackling those involved in rogue calling crime and will use all means at our disposal to ensure they are swiftly brought to justice.”

“Rogue traders usually turn up announced, claim to be respectable tradespeople when they are not and use a range of deceptions to gain personal information which they later misuse or charge inflated prices for sub-standard or unnecessary work.

“However, an effective way of preventing these incidents from happening in the first place is by raising awareness of the problem and advising members of the public on what steps they can take to better protect themselves from falling victim.

"We would recommend that you never engage anyone who turns up at your door and never give them money up front or disclose any personal or financial information. We would also caution against keeping large sums of cash in your own home.”

* More information about how to protect yourself against bogus callers can be found on the Trading Standards section of the Denbighshire County Council website

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