Fire Safety Checks
Residents in London are being warned to be aware of a scam in operation in the wake of the Grenfell Tower fire tragedy. Since the tower block blaze hit the national headlines, and where many lives were lost due to flammable external cladding, fraudsters are now targeting vulnerable residents in flats and other tower blocks.
The scam involves preying on the fears of residents over fire safety concerns since the devastating blaze. Criminals are posting notes through residents doors in Camden warning them that their homes urgently need a fire safety inspection. The residents have been asked to open their homes to a fire safety officer – this is of course a bogus claim. Camden borough council and the London fire Brigade have confirmed that these checks have not been authorised and want to raise awareness amongst residents that may fall victim to the scam.
The scam has been labelled as being a despicable act, especially in the wake of the Grenfell fire tragedy. The fraudsters are obviously targeting vulnerable people living in high-rise homes who may be living in a state of fear following the tower block blaze.
Those that were targeted were people living in tower blocks in the Camden area, especially those blocks that may not meet current fire safety standards. Authorities are now concerned that the suspects will start to target other residents across London, or that the scam may spread to other towns across the country.
A spokesperson from a group representing survivors of the horrific fire condemned the scam as “Absolutely despicable” and that is was wrong to use an atrocity like Grenfell Tower to prey on vulnerable people.
The Camden local authority has sent out alerts to housing companies and charities warning of the scam. The police and fire services, as well as Age UK, and public and private housing providers have all been notified of the scam in an effort to raise awareness and spread the word.
Residents have been advised to follow the guidance of Trading Standards to identify whether a doorstep caller is genuine. The doorstep safety advice would be to ‘lock, chain, check and message’.
You should call the police on 101 if you are suspicious, or 999 if the caller refuses to leave your doorstep and you feel in danger.
Camden Council has issued advice to local residents around doorstep safety and urged people to ring London Fire Brigade on 0208 555 1200 if they were concerned that someone knocking on their door may be posing as a fire officer, fire safety inspector or fire-fighter.