Beware of rogue traders, warns North East Lincolnshire Council
Trading Standards officers from North East Lincolnshire Council are urging local residents “not to do business on their doorstep” after receiving many complaints of cold callers in the area.
Traders who have carried out work on people’s properties are returning these houses uninvited, in the hopes of convincing the property owner that more work needs to be completed.
Although cold calling itself isn’t a criminal offence, the council are warning locals that the trader might not be all they seem, and that residents have the right to choose whether or not they want uninvited callers in their home.
This comes amid a number of scams and nuisance calling to older and vulnerable people during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Councillor Ron Shepherd, portfolio holder for safer and stronger communities for North East Lincolnshire Council, said: “We are continuing to see victims of doorstep crime, so we want to remind residents to be aware.
“Doorstep calling is a popular method used by rogue traders whose aim is to persuade you to buy their services, for shoddy, unnecessary or no work and to get as much money as possible.
“It isn’t always easy to spot a rogue trader. They may tell you that a repair is urgent or that they have just completed work for neighbours and will normally ask for payment immediately.”
Cllr Shepherd added: “If you’re thinking of having work done, make sure you do your research.
“Be wary of anyone who knocks on your door, posts an offer through your letterbox or cold calls you over the phone saying they are working on the scheme.
“Our advice is never to deal with cold callers. This includes people that knock on your door, phone calls offering free surveys and government grants and leaflets that rogue traders put through your letterbox. The phone numbers, addresses and logos may not be genuine.”
According to Trading Standards, if you need work carrying out in your home, you should get a number of quotes from traders who are known to you, family or friends. You should not answer the door to any traders you don’t know, or those who have not asked permission to visit.
Consumers can check for registered traders at www.trustmark.org.uk/find-a-tradesman.
Cold callers can be reported to Citizens Advice on 0808 223 1133.
On the other hand, if you’re a local trader and would like to find out how to become an approved Buy With Confidence member, be part of a trusted trader scheme and reassure potential consumers, contact Trading Standards on [email protected] or call (01472) 326299, option 3.