by gwynethdeakins on 13 December, 2017
We think it very worthwhile to publicise the warning issued by Redbridge’s Trading Standards officer, especially at this time of the year:
WARNING: Be aware of fraudulent cold callers active in this area!
Multiple and regular instances of fraud are occurring in local streets, with
rogue workmen cold calling and offering to do unnecessary roofing or
guttering work after making false statements about their condition. These
types of fraud occur frequently and residents need to be vigilant and guard
against rogue traders calling at their home as well as the homes of their
neighbours – particularly if they are an older person or considered
vulnerable. A victim’s life savings could be lost to these fraudsters!
Trading Standards Service recommends:
(1) NEVER allow COLD CALLERS to carry out home maintenance type
work such as roofing, guttering, driveways, patios, tree care, pest
infestation, rubbish clearance and general building, especially where
you are not already aware that work is required.
(2) NEVER agree to any work unless you are sure it needs doing and the
contractor gives you a formal written quotation. Remember that
contracts made in the home usually have at least 14 days cancellation
period: contact Citizens Advice Service on 03454 04 05 06 for advice.
(3) NEVER permit any cold caller to erect ladders, scaffolding or any other
means of attending your property. Most building maintenance is rarely
urgent, so do not be pressed into any agreement. Don’t be rushed!
(4) WE RECOMMEND that you check a trader approval scheme such as
Buy With Confidence https://www.buywithconfidence.gov.uk/ (or
contact the Citizens Advice Service on 03454 04 05 06 for information
about traders on this scheme). Several quotes should be obtained for
(5) Fraudsters may trick you and gain your trust by pretending to work
for another resident in your street or in your neighbourhood.
(6) A ‘No Cold Caller’ sticker is enclosed: we recommend that you attach
the yellow sticker to the outside of your door. Always be vigilant!
(7) If you see suspicious tradesmen please note details of the van that
they use such as registration mark and make/model/colour or even take
any photographs and inform Trading Standards, or your local Police.
(8) CONTACT: If you think you are at risk of a fraud, or particularly if any
threats are made to you, call Police immediately on 999. In any case,
please do not hesitate to contact the Citizens Advice Service on
03454 04 05 06 if you are suspicious of any tradesmen and Redbridge
Trading Standards Service will investigate.
(9) ALWAYS ask for identification if you are visited by officials from the
water, gas or electricity utilities or the Council. Check their ID card
thoroughly and call the customer services department to confirm that it
is a genuine visit. Most utility companies operate password schemes,
so call yours and set one up. If you are suspicious NEVER let them in.
(10) The Redbridge Handyperson Scheme helps with odd jobs or minor
repairs in the home. It’s available for those aged 60 +, disabled or
suffering serious illness or awaiting discharge from hospital. It is
available at a low cost. Please telephone:- 020 8520 4554.
(11) The Age UK Business Directory website www.saferservices.london
provides suggested tradesmen. Or you could call 0800 334 5056
where a dedicated member of staff can assist you.
(12) USE YOUR DOOR CHAIN. Or if you suspect a COLD CALLER and
you are not expecting anybody JUST DON’T ANSWER THE DOOR.
Keep the fraudsters out – Not sure? Don’t open the door!
Rogue traders may want to take you to your bank to withdraw large sums of
cash or to make a transfer. Banks are aware of these frauds and if you find
yourself in this position, simply mention the words ‘Banking Protocol’ to the
cashier. The bank, Police and Trading Standards will then take immediate steps
to protect you and your savings.
Remember: STOP & THINK! Don’t be rushed; listen to your instincts and stay