Warning over alarms scam

Elderly and vulnerable residents are being warned to be on their guard against rogue callers offering free burglar alarms after a spate of reports in Derbyshire.

Con men are targeting pensioners by claiming crime is rising andthey are working in conjunction with police, and are giving away free alarms which are linked to the police station.

Trading stands bosses say a follow-up home visit is arranged where they attempt to sell the alarms through a pressurised sales pitch which can last for hours.

Having signed an agreement the victim finds the alarms are very expensive, despite the ‘free’ claims, and are subject to a costly maintenance agreement which can run for years.

In one of the worst cases an elderly Derbyshire dementia sufferer was persuaded to pay well over the odds for an alarm – even though he already had one installed at his home.

Anyone buying goods costing over £35 on the doorstep has a seven-day ‘cooling off’ period where they can change their mind. The trader must give the buyer a written cancellation notice option when they buy. Failure to do this is a criminal offence.