‘Hard-nosed’ charity sales callers warning

Residents are warned to be wary of doorstep sales callers for charities
Residents are warned to be wary of doorstep sales callers for charities

RESIDENTS have been warned to be wary of cold callers who are targeting Steyning, Bramber and Upper Beeding.

Sales companies representing various charities have been active in the area, Steyning Parish Council was told on Monday.

In their monthly report, Steyning Neighbourhood Wardens Paul Conroy and Michael Pearce warned residents to think carefully and make sure they understood any commitment they chose to enter into.

“The sales representatives are skilled and in some cases are very charming but are not in the business of receiving personal donations.

“If you feel in any way intimidated or pressurised, please do not hesitate to contact us or call the police.

“Please remember you are at liberty to ask them for contact details of the companies they work for. These companies will have a mechanism in place whereby you can complain regarding any hard-nosed sales techniques.”

Residents are advised to ask for identification if confronted on their doorsteps and warned not to invite callers into their homes, under any circumstances.

Mr Conroy said: “The majority of these sales people are hard working and honest but if you have any doubts or feel you have been put under pressure please give us a call.”

The parish council has also warned residents of bogus payment protection insurance telephone calls.

“Sussex Police are reminding all residents, especially the elderly and anyone living alone, not to be taken in by a new type of scam that has been reported in the West Sussex area,” said a statement placed on the council website last Wednesday.

“If you or any of your relatives or friends are (or have been) telephoned by the Ministry of Justice and told you qualify for a refund on payment protection insurance (PPI), this will be a scam.”

The scammer will ask for a percentage of the payout up front, in order for the claim to be processed, in the form of Ukash vouchers. A courier is then sent to the home and will be persuasive or persistent.

Detective Inspector Jim McKnight said: “These are wicked crimes that target some of our most vulnerable people.”