North East Lincolnshire Council’s trading standards team are asking people to report door step callers offering to carry out work on homes, gardens and business premises.
Suspected rogue traders have been identified in the area and are thought to be offering work related to landscaping, driveways, patios, guttering, roofs and other repairs.
People are asked to remain vigilant and report any sightings of suspected rogue traders in the area. Reports can be made direct to trading standards in confidence at www.nelincs.gov.uk/scams or by calling Citizens Advice on 03454 040506.
Rogue traders target the vulnerable and the elderly. They overcharge for doing very little work and in most cases leave the victim having to find a reputable trader to put right what they’ve done.
Rogue traders defraud victims through pressure selling. Often offering substantial reductions to start the work there and then, breaching the victim’s legal rights of a cooling off period. They then escalate the price once work has started.
Earlier this year a woman complained that the price quoted on the doorstep to cut back a tree was £85, but she ended up paying £1,300 when the work was done.
NELC financial exploitation officer Ian Boyd urges all residents and businesses to say ‘no’ to door step callers.
He added: “Always use reputable companies that people you trust have recommended. Don’t be the next victim.”
Trading standards manager Neil Clark said: “Never agree to having work done when you’re cold called.
“If a job does need doing, get at least three quotes from different tradespeople and take your time to make an informed decision.
“Please share our warnings with elderly relatives, friends or neighbours who might fall foul of rogue traders, they prey on the most vulnerable.
“As good neighbours we should always be on the look-out for each other and if someone starts work on your vulnerable neighbour’s home, don’t hesitate to report them to us.
“In March we intervened to stop a Scartho man from handing over more than £5,000 in cash for work done at his home.”
Traders must give you a 14 day cooling off period and a written contract if they call at your home or business premise and offer to carry out work where the cost exceeds £42. This is a legal requirement and It is an offence if they don’t.
If you are approached by any cold caller and feel threatened or intimidated in any way, secure your premises, close and lock your door and telephone the police on 999.