Police are warning members of the public in Henfield who have previously been victims of a doorstep fraud crime that attempts may be made to defraud them again.
During April nine reports were received that previous victims of rogue traders and other doorstep criminals were being contacted again by scammers posing as Trading Standards or Court officials.
Police have said these rogue traders demanded money up front in order to finance court action to recoup some of the losses from the original crime.
People from Brighton, Chichester, Portslade, Lancing, and Burgess Hill have also reportedly been affected.
PC Bernadette Lawrie of Sussex Police said; “If you have a friend, neighbour or relative who has been targeted by doorstep traders in the past, give them a call and remind them to be wary of all unknown callers, especially those offering this supposed help.
“So far the reports have come from West Sussex and Brighton, but that doesn’t mean East Sussex may not also be affected at some stage.
“Thankfully, so far none of the people who have reported to us have been taken in by this approach, but we are concerned that there may be others who have been defrauded and have not yet reported it to us.
“We are also contacting particularly vulnerable people known to us to help spread the message.
“Scammers are recontacting victims of these crimes posing as Trading Standards or Court Officials, claiming to be able to compensate for their previous losses.
“If you or someone you know has been a victim of rogue traders or doorstep callers in the past, be aware of this new approach to try to get more money from you.
“Local Authority Trading Standards officers and Court officers do not operate in this way and would never ask residents for a monetary payment to a personal bank account.”
Police have also urged members of the public to not to give out any personal details or pay any money to fraudsters if they are approached by telephone or by cold call at the door by someone claiming to work for Trading Standards or a court who asks for money as part of a refund or compensation for rogue trader problems.
Instead people are advised to contact Sussex Police via firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 101, quoting Operation Signature.
You can also contact your local Trading Standards team at 03456 040506.
John Peerless from Brighton & Hove’s Trading Standards said; “We are extremely concerned about vulnerable people being targeted by these rogue traders. Trading Standards Officers will not ask for money to be paid into an account or take cash from anyone. The message is don’t let them in or hand over any money or bank details, and report it to Trading Standards.”