Police in Chester were flooded with calls from worried residents after a group of men claiming to be ex-offenders went door to door trying to sell marked-up cleaning products using counterfeit licences.
The ‘large number’ of reports has prompted Chester Local Policing Unit to issue a warning on social media, urging members of the public to avoid buying any products from people who turn up on their doorsteps.
Writing on Facebook, officers said: “A group of males from the Middlesborough area had been calling door to door, claiming to be ex-offenders and attempting to sell cleaning products from large bags.
“They were carrying counterfeit licences and identification with a view to selling products to vulnerable members of the community at a marked-up price, using a forceful sales manner.
“This is by no means a new tactic used by criminals. In other parts of the country, houses have been burgled following visits by individuals using the door to door sales technique.”
Cheshire Constabulary’s tips on how residents can protect themselves and their families includes checking the identities of doorstep callers by contacting the company they claim to be from using a number which has been provided independently, keeping doors and windows secure at all times, keeping cash in the bank and not to feel pressurised if a stranger turns up asking for help – the advice is to help through a closed door, refer them to a younger neighbour or call someone else to assist.
Anyone concerned about suspicious behaviour should call police on 101.