Scammers are increasingly targeting their victims on the doorstep.
A new investigation from consumer group Which? found that new scams have emerged during the past year, designed to target vulnerable people in their homes.
Scams reported to the group included fraudsters claiming to represent local NHS services, offering a fast-track Covid-19 testing or vaccination service.
Fraudsters were also selling vitamin pills they claimed could guard against the virus or collecting fake charitable donations.
While these new scams have emerged, there also appears to have been a resurgence of more traditional rogue traders.
Which? members reported a rise in the number of traditional doorstep scams, such as builders who overcharge or fail to complete projects.
They surveyed 1,186 members and discovered that 16% were on the receiving end of unsolicited home visits by scammers claiming to be charity workers or salespeople.
In some cases, the victims felt pressured into buying something or donating money on their doorstep.
Separate research by Citizens Advice suggests that doorstep scams represent around 5% of all scams. However, the majority of doorstep scam victims are older.
It is worth noting and reminding older friends or relatives that NHS testing and vaccination services are always free of charge. Nobody will ever visit your home without first making an appointment.
Adam French, a consumer rights expert at Which?, said:
“It’s highly concerning that doorstep scammers are back in business and looking to exploit the pandemic in every way they can.”