Guest article from “Trading Standards Wales”
Residents and businesses across Wales who think that rogue traders are targeting their community, or they know someone who has become a victim of a doorstep crime, can now report it anonymously to Crimestoppers.
Trading Standards Wales and the charity Crimestoppers have joined forces to provide a service that enables members of the public to anonymously provide valuable information to help keep communities safe and healthy.
It is the latest issue that the two organisations are working on to encourage members of the public to provide information on concerns they might have, 100% anonymously.
Helen Picton, Chair of Trading Standards Wales, said: “We’re delighted to be working with Crimestoppers and giving members of the public a way to report these crimes anonymously.
“Doorstep crime can affect anyone but often it is the elderly and vulnerable people that are targeted by rogue traders offering home improvement services.
“Such callers may offer services including window/gutter cleaning, path and driveway repairs, roofing or building work, gardening and tree lopping or even persuade residents that they must come inside their homes to ‘check something’.
“They can be very persuasive and convincing in their approach and in what they say – it is easy to be taken. These people are unqualified scammers who charge extortionate amounts of money for little or no work.”
Residents and businesses should be aware of the following signs if a rogue trader is operating in their community:
- Unfinished or poor-quality services
- Increased prices and urgent work required
- Pressure to agree there and then
- Upfront cash payments
- No paperwork and/or cancellation rights given
- No traders details provided
- Flyers stating Statutory Cooling off period
- Ignoring signs or stickers asking the trader to leave and not return
- Selling goods from a van following an unsolicited doorstep call
- Sold from unusual places e.g. car boot sales
“If you think a rogue trader is operating in your community or someone you know has become a doorstep crime victim then report it to Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 or visit http://crimestoppers-uk.org and tell them what you know. Your information can help keep communities across Wales safe,” added Helen Picton.
If it is an emergency or a rogue trader is at the property contact 999, or if you need advice to help with a dispute, concern or suspicion call Citizens Advice on 0808 223 1133.GET THE FACTS