Is this a scam or fraud?

In recent days I have had numerous contractors (who seem to be genuine) coming to my door saying that they have been asked to carry out work by someone who has purchased my house. I have not sold my house and do not intend to. Has anyone else had this and do you have any idea what might be behind it? Obviously I have not let anyone in. I have managed to get hold of the email address of the person requesting these visits but there was no reply from it.

Never heard of a scam like this. If the contractors are genuine then it seems very odd. Possibly an error or even someone playing some weird joke on you.

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Thanks Foresthillnick I think you are probably right though I did not know I had any enemies! Thought it worth posting in case it had happened to anyone else

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That’s so strange – it’s so easy to disprove. I wonder if they are hoping to find a tenant who might believe the landlord was selling, and thus gain access?

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Sounds odd. My best guess would be someone who applied for quotes etc for work over email, and copied and pasted the text to various parties, with a mistake in the address. Maybe it’s someone on your road who put the wrong house number down, or maybe the wrong road (I’m on Brockley Rise and we’ve had various things for people on Brockley X).

Might be worth registering, which I think you can do, with the land registry however which I think notifies you if anyone tries to do anything in your property’s name or to sell it etc.

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It does not sound like a very good fraud as the contractors would expect to find the person who has contacted them at your house , if he has bought it. However, be on your guard for some sort of follow-up fraud, e.g. bogus police investigating this.

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Thanks all for your replies. Fortunately I have had no further visits in the last two days. I am as vigilant as I can be about security online and in person, but nothing is completely secure. I will certainly be aware of possible follow up. I was also wondering if this might be some attempt to build up a credit history - maybe emails of this type might be used to do so as they claim ownership of a property?

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I have had a few more of these unwanted callers at the door saying they have been asked to quote for work on my house as someone has bought it. One of them gave me a possible explanation. The attempted fraud is not on me, (although my address is being used, which is worrying) but on the contractors. It may be a way of getting access to the contractor’s bank details and then using them to make payments and other fraudulent transactions. The fraudster asks for a quote and then pays a deposit cheque, which bounces. The fraudster then asks for bank details to sort it out. Does this make sense to anyone? In any case, contractors beware of fraudulent requests for quotes!

It’s a scam. Happened to a friend who was renting. They let them in thinking the landlord had arranged it and they went through their belongings and stole some stuff. This was 10 years ago, but it’s a well known scam.

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In this case why would they be returning to the same address trying the same thing at an owner-occupied place? Co-incidence?

@Taurus can you get copies / details of the quote requests from the contractors? Is your name being given?

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They all seem to have been contacted through the Checkatrade site; I have contacted Checkatrade but they say they can’t do anything. You would think they would at least want to warn the contractors registered with them but apparently not. I have copies of emails that the contractors have given me and have made a report to Action Fraud. No they don’t seem to have my name, just the address, which may have been picked at random. I think the fraudster has contacted a lot of contractors in the hope they may scam at least some of them. Fortunately have had no more in the last few days.

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