A WARNING has been issued to residents about a coronavirus-related 'free CCTV' scam circulating in the borough.

Cheshire West and Chester Council’s Trading Standards has been made aware of some homeowners receiving flyers through their doors headed ‘Covid-19’ offering a free CCTV package if they take out a care and protect service for their new system.

Officers say this is likely to involve paying an ongoing maintenance and monitoring fee once the CCTV has been installed.

The council’s deputy leader and cabinet member for environment, highways and strategic transport, councillor Karen Shore, said: "The flyer falsely claims that we are seeing a rise in burglaries throughout the UK as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.

"Our Trading Standards team advise residents to be wary of anything using the Covid-19 pandemic to advertise the sale of CCTV installation and monitoring equipment.

"Offers that are posted through our door or are made by someone uninvited knocking on our door – a ‘cold caller’ – should always be treated with caution."

Other advice issued by officers includes:

  • Making sure you read and understand all terms of conditions including the nature of the monitoring product being offered and the total costs across the lifetime of the product/service.
  • Checking the CCTV products being supplied comply with British Standards and the installer is complying with the Installation and Remote Monitoring of detector-activated CCTV systems codes of practice.
  • Also checking the CCTV provider and any ongoing monitoring company providing support are reputable and part of an accredited scheme such as being a member of the SSAIB (Certification for Security Systems Providers) and/or a member of the Security Industry Authority or similar scheme.
  • Never feeling pressured into purchasing any CCTV product or service package offered to you on the doorstep, or sold to you via marketing material posted through your door.
  • If you have concerns about any CCTV product you have recently purchased please report the matter to Citizens Advice who can provide further advice. They can be contacted on 0345 404 0506.