A warning has been issued across Northamptonshire following reports of rogue traders taking advantage of elderly and vulnerable people.
A number of reports have been made to Northamptonshire Police and Trading Standards about cold callers charging extortionate prices after carrying out poor quality work at homes around the county.
We’ve had reports of rogue traders carrying out poor quality repairs and charging inflated prices, sometimes even driving the victim to the bank to withdraw money or threatening them.David Hedger, Northamptonshire Trading Standards manager
Some incidents have even involved threats or coercing people into withdrawing cash from the bank.
David Hedger, Northamptonshire Trading Standards manager, said: “We are advising people not to deal with unexpected cold callers offering any kind of service or trying to sell you something on your doorstep.
“We’ve had reports of rogue traders carrying out poor quality repairs and charging inflated prices, sometimes even driving the victim to the bank to withdraw money or threatening them.
“In many cases these criminals try to take advantage of elderly and vulnerable people, which is why we’re also asking friends, relatives, neighbours and carers to be on their guard and look out for their loved ones.”
A statement issued by Northamptonshire Trading Standards said that, as the weather improves and more homeowners consider haveing work done around the house and garden, residents should be wary of accepting offers of work from doorstep traders.
Paul Golley, crime prevention manager for Northamptonshire Police, said: “We work closely with Trading Standards to tackle rogue trading and other doorstep crime, such as distraction burglary.
“Evidence strongly suggests there are links between those involved in rogue trading and those who commit distraction burglary and, unfortunately, these criminals often prey on the more vulnerable.
“Along with our Trading Standards colleagues, we would encourage everyone to be aware of the risks of both rogue trading and distraction burglary. Please pass on the message to family, friends and neighbours, and warn them not to open the door to unexpected callers, and remember – if you’re not sure, don’t open the door.”
Trading Standards has a Buy With Confidence approved trader scheme, offering advice on finding reputable tradesmen. Visit: www.northamptonshire.gov.uk/approvedtraders or call: 0300 126 1000.
Anyone who is concerned about a caller at the door or suspect that rogue traders are operating in the can contact the Doorstep crime Action Network (DAN) on: 0345 23 07 702 or the Citizens Advice Consumer Service on 03454 04 05 06.
If a crime is in progress, always call 999.