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Fake gas engineer reported claiming to be ‘from Harrow Council doing safety checks’

A man claiming to be from Harrow Council has been knocking on doors in Belmont saying he is doing “gas safety checks”.

The report came into Harrow Online on Tuesday afternoon (28 April) with a concerned resident telling us:  “Just wanted to let you know we had a man knock on our door claiming to be from Harrow Council doing gas safety checks. When I told him the meter was outside he then said he had to check the fire alarms and has to come inside.”

The Belmont Circle resident continued: “I told him we were self isolating and couldn’t let him in. He is a white tall male in a white van. I spoke to Harrow Council and they confirmed they wouldn’t be sending anyone at this time.

“Please put out an alert for people to not let anyone in under any circumstances. I live in Belmont Circle”. The person has been reported to the police.

Since the UK lockdown started, an array of scams have emerged, taking advantage of the situation with opportunists seeking to gain from the government’s social distancing rules. “Every day seems to have a new scam,” said Katherine Hart, lead officer of doorstep crime at the Chartered Trading Standards Institute.

She said: “I am continually astounded at the scale of new scam activity in the UK since the pandemic hit. Never have I seen such a gigantic surge in activity targeting UK consumers.

“CTSI and our partners in the UK consumer protection landscape have been working hard to educate and warn the public about these emerging threats, and we are confident that it is making a difference.”

A spokesperson for Harrow Council said: “Gas and electrics checks are still essential in ensuring the safety of occupants. The council will always book an appointment prior to any visits to our properties, and upon arriving will present their ID card.

“That said, if anyone is knocking at your door claiming to be from the council, or any other reputable organisation, always ask to see their ID and note down the name and numbers. We ask everyone to be vigilant and report anything suspicious to the police”

By noting down the name and number, residents can check this with the organisation or business before letting them in. If they are genuine they will not have a problem with this.

(Image Credit: Google)