RESIDENTS are being warned to watch out after a spate of reported scams.
Flintshire Neighbourhood Watch Association issued the warning after a homeowner was approached by a company trying to get her to sign up for a home alarm system which would have cost nearly £10,000 despite initially being described as free.
North Wales police are also warning residents to be on their guard.
A Neighbourhood Watch spokesman said:
The scam starts with a phone call from a firm offering a free burglar alarm system. They mention there may be a fee for monitoring the alarm, but don’t say how much.
If the householder already has an alarm installed the business uses scare tactics, saying Home Office statistics say there has been an increase in crime in their area and that police don’t respond to ordinary alarms.
They say their alarm is monitored by them so they can guarantee some sort of response and charge ‘a small fee’ for that service.
Householders who agreed to have a ‘free alarm’ fitted have been charged up to £9,850 for the monitoring service.
Many people signed credit agreements, which meant they had to pay in excess of £90 every month for eight years.
Shotton and Queensferry community beat manager PC Julie Niven said there are certain precautions residents can take to residents can take avoid being stung.
“They should always have ID with them, so ask to see it,” she said.
“But in the majority of cases, if you have not invited these sorts of traders to come to your house, don’t let them in.
“And if you agree to the contract you must be given written notice of your seven-day cancellation rights.”
PC Niven added: “Remember that any business who offers you a free survey or free assessment of any sort is only offering this so they can get a sales opportunity.”
And she warned of another scam in the Queensferry area.
She said: “There have been interesting parking tickets found which are completely fake.
“At first they look real until you see the back of them, where the business address is 115 Gotcha Lane, Uwerefooled. It has caused a bit of concern.”