Coronavirus scammer caught on CCTV going door-to-door selling masks and gloves

A masked scammer has been seen going door-to-door in North Staffordshire selling items claiming to protect people from contracting coronavirus.

CCTV footage shared by Paul Reeves, who lives in Smokies Way, Gillow Heath, captures the man knocking on a home in a bid to do business with the locals.

He is seen wearing a surgical mask and latex gloves and carries a backpack.

Dad Paul told StokeonTrent Live: "They were trying to sell cleaning products, face masks and sandwiches.

"The man at our door was wearing disposable gloves and a face mask. He could be wearing these to avoid leaving fingerprints and to hide his face.

"One neighbour mentioned that they had been quite forceful in their selling approach.

"He jammed his foot in the doorway to stop the door from being closed."

Another resident said they had seen two men selling gloves and masks and added: "One of them got quite abusive with my wife and wouldn't take no for an answer when we didn't buy anything."

Staffordshire Police were alerted to the incident that took place at around 4pm, on March 19.

It is believed that two men targeted the houses in the Biddulph area.

Staffordshire County Council and Trading Standards also urged residents to be aware of door-to-door scams that involve people offering "decontamination" services during the COVID-19 pandemic in the country.

Gill Heath, communities leader at the county council, said: “Unfortunately criminals will exploit any situation to make money and during a crisis like this, it was very likely we would see scams linked to the coronavirus outbreak.

"We’re simply asking people to be vigilant and report any email or telephone scams to our Information Governance Team or to Citizens Advice.

"We appreciate that many scams can appear genuine but if people are in any doubt at all they should ignore the offer. People should always be wary about an unsolicited approach.

"It’s often older or more vulnerable residents who are targeted by scams too so please keep an eye out for elderly family members or neighbours."

Anyone with information is asked to call Staffordshire Police on 101 quoting incident 490 of March 19.

To report a scam email [email protected] or by call 01785 278109.

Scams should also be reported to Citizens Advice here.

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