Consumers warned about doorstep conmen preying on the old and vulnerable

Complaints about dodgy door to door sales have reached a new high with specific advice released to help protect those who are over the age of seventy and the most likely to be taken by several of the scams.

This year alone there have already been about 35,000 complaints issued to consumer help lines about door to door salesman. The complaints were made about salespeople that entered the home following an appointment or just as cold calls.

The OFT (Office of Fair Trading) has kicked off a new campaign that urges consumers that they do not have to feel obliged to purchase any services or products just because they have heard the demonstration from a door to door trader. The campaign happens to run at the same time as National Consumer Week and is meant to remind people that many high pressure sales tactics are actually illegal.

Many doorstep sellers target older people in general because they are the most impressionable. For this reason the OFT campaign is aimed at reaching those that are over the age of seventy and in particular women that live alone and are isolated or housebound.

The campaign also specifically targets doorstep traders that are selling energy efficient services and mobility aids after reviews by the OFT discovered that there were reasons to be concerned about some of the sales practices by these sellers. Materials that offer advice are being distributed by the Direct Selling Association, Age UK Neighbourhood Watch, and can be found on the OFT website.