Derbyshire Police are sharing a warning from the National Fraud Intelligence Bureau (NFIB) that in some parts of the country, fraudsters and bogus traders are using the Grenfell Tower fire tragedy to target victims.
The NFIB say that fraudsters are visiting homes to offer free or subsidised fire safety inspections, citing the tower block fire as the reason for their visit.
While the NFIB are not aware of any successful attempts by the fraudsters, they are encouraging the public to report any suspicious approaches by people purporting to offer goods or services in relation to health and fire safety to Action Fraud, especially in cases where it is suggested they are making contact as a result of the Grenfell Tower fire.
After the Grenfell Tower fire, the response by local authorities in relation to health and fire safety is ongoing. Residents who live in social housing or council properties should contact their local authority in the first instance if they have not received advice already.
Those who reside in privately rented properties should first seek advice from their landlord or agent where they have questions regarding health and fire safety.
Always ask for identification before letting anyone you don’t know into your property. Council officials and fire service employees who visit a property will carry identification.
Check credentials, including a permanent business address and landline telephone number. The mobile phone numbers given on business cards are often pay-as-you-go numbers which are virtually impossible to trace.
Don’t sign on the spot – shop around. Get at least three written quotes to make sure you’re not being ripped off. The fire service will not charge for any service it provides to the occupiers or businesses.
If in any doubt, ask the person to leave or call the Citizens Advice consumer helpline on 03454 04 05 06.
If you have been affected by this, or any other type of fraud, report it to Action Fraud by visiting www.actionfraud.police.uk or by calling 0300 123 2040.