Scams, doorstep selling and calls

On this page you can find out about:

To keep up to date with all the latest scams follow us on Twitter @AberdeenshireTS.

How to avoid scams

To avoid scams:

  • don’t click on links or open attachments in emails and text messages unless you are sure they are from a legitimate source - scammers will go to great lengths to make their communications with you look genuine
  • don’t let anyone into your home without verifying their identity and checking they have official documentation or ID card
  • you shouldn’t ever give out personal or financial information over the phone
  • only purchase goods online from trusted and legitimate retailers and if you have one, use a credit card as this will offer you greater insurance

Find out about methods used by scammers for financial abuse

Scams training resources

The National Trading Standards Scam Team have developed:

Get Safe Online

Get Safe Online launched the Rough Guide to Online Safety. This is a joint initiative between the Government, law enforcement, leading businesses and the public sector. The aim is to provide computer users and small businesses with free, independent, user-friendly advice that will allow them to use the internet confidently, safely and securely.

40% of computer users have experienced virus attacks and it is estimated that over a thousand new computer viruses emerge every month. With significant potential for online viruses, scams and privacy violations, the - Rough Guide to Online Safety - provides a snapshot of digital security and smart surfing for every scenario.

The objective is to encourage everyone to take some time out of their week to learn more about internet safety and to make sure that their computer is properly protected.

The risks are serious, but prevention is easy. A few hours is all you need. It's a small price to pay compared to the huge hassle of dealing with viruses, identity theft and online fraud.

You can get further online advice from Get Safe Free Online expert advice.

Bank mandate fraud

Both businesses and individuals are at risk of bank mandate fraud. Find out what it is and how to protect yourself and your business against it (PDF 9.26MB).

Scam doorstep selling

There are traders who call at your door who are honest and genuine. However there are others who may look to take advantage of you by using clever and persuasive tactics.

They range from high pressure salesmen through to rogue traders, confidence tricksters and distraction burglars, and may provide unfair contracts, overpriced or substandard home improvements, phone consumer surveys and bogus charity collections.

Under legislation it is an offence for a salesman to fail to leave your property when asked, and such instances can be reported to us for further investigation.

What reputable callers should do:

  • Present personal identification and identify who they represent
  • Make it clear from the outset if they are selling something
  • Provide written information on cooling-off periods and cancellation rights
  • Avoid using pressure to sell goods or services
  • Not expect an on-the-spot decision
  • Leave as soon as they are asked to do so

How to protect yourself


  • Do you feel safe letting the caller into your home?
  • Do you feel under any pressure?
  • Do you feel your emotions are being used or manipulated (subjected to scare stories or exaggerated claims)?
  • Do you know the full costs (including estimates, delivery and installation) of the transaction?
  • Have you compared prices for the same goods or services?
  • Do you understand your rights if you sign a contract?
  • Do you know the arrangements for after-sales servicing (for example guarantees or warranties)?
  • Could you contact the trader again if you have problems at a later date?


  • Has the caller identified themselves and their company to your satisfaction? (Make a note of these details and do not feel pressured into making a snap decision. You can check the details in a telephone directory or speak to your local trading standards service if in doubt.)
  • Has the caller engaged your interest by questionable means (for example, claiming to be conducting a survey or representing a charity)
  • Has the caller offered you a "once only" price for agreeing to the transaction on the spot?
  • Is the caller offering something you really want or need?
  • Has the caller aroused any suspicions about themselves, their methods or their motives?
  • Decide. Only if you are satisfied that the transaction is entirely acceptable and that the decision is entirely your own should you agree to make a purchase

Say no

  • Say you do not buy goods or services at the door
  • Say you want more time to think about it
  • Say you want to compare prices by getting other quotes
  • Say you have to discuss it with someone else (for example your partner or son and/or daughter).


If you have any queries contact