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Don’t do business on your doorstep

1:59 pm, Wednesday, 10th March 2021 - 3 years ago

General

North East Lincolnshire Council’s Trading Standards officers are urging people not to do business on their doorstep as cold callers remain an ongoing issue in the borough.

Trading Standards continue to receive complaints from residents who have had work carried out by traders who have called uninvited.

While cold calling in itself is not illegal, it may be that the trader isn’t all they seem and may even be committing a criminal offence.

Residents have the right to choose whether or not they want uninvited callers to their home. 

Other information received and investigations by Trading Standards suggests any waste from the site is often dumped without any regard where it is left. You could be liable if unlicensed traders dump anything from your property. 

Councillor Ron Shepherd, portfolio holder for safer and stronger communities, 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.”

Trading Standards advice if you need work carrying out:

  • Get a number of quotes from traders known to you, family or friends
  • Do not answer the door to traders you do not know or have not asked to visit
  • Display a notice to deter cold callers
  • Consumers can check for registered traders at www.trustmark.org.uk/find-a-tradesman. TrustMark is the Government-endorsed quality scheme covering work a consumer chooses to have carried out on their home

People can report cold callers to Citizens Advice consumer helpline on 0808 223 1133.

Fraudsters also often use social media sites to trick people into parting with their money or personal details. Posts can include investment opportunities, to items and services for sale.

Entering into a contract with anyone on social media is not advised due to the impermanent nature of it. Anyone who has access to a phone or laptop can set up a fake name and address. The advice on checking into companies, asking for examples of work, still apply.

For more advice on this or to report a fraud, visit www.actionfraud.police.uk/

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.

If you join the scheme, you’ll be able to:

  • Use the Buy With Confidence logo and say you’re ‘Trading Standards Approved’
  • Set yourself apart from competitors
  • Reassure customers you’re trustworthy
  • Get information about changes to the law that could affect your business
  • Access to advice direct from local authority employed Trading Standards professionals

Various COVID-19 related scams have been circulating across the country since the pandemic first began. For advice about coronavirus scam calls and texts, visit www.ofcom.org.uk/about-ofcom/latest/features-and-news/coronavirus-scam-calls-and-texts

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