Worcestershire residents who may have been the victim of rogue traders and cowboy builders in the past are warned following some incidents to beware of visits from bogus Trading Standards Officers.
Information has been received from a resident in the Wyre Forest District that he was approached on his doorstep by a man asking if he had been ‘ripped off’ by rogue traders. He then went on to suggest some of his neighbours had been ripped off. The resident became suspicious when the man said he was from Trading Standards, but could not provide any ID. The resident asked him to leave.
In a similar case on the Warwickshire border the caller stated that rogue traders who had carried out 'roofing' work were now in court being prosecuted. He then said that the resident would be awarded compensation but before this could happen, he needed to make a report/survey which would involve the hiring of equipment costing £5000. The resident was asked to pay this 'cost'. Fortunately the resident did not pay any money.
Trading Standards Officers are highly unlikely to visit a consumer's home unless they have already been asked to by the consumer or a trusted friend or relative.
Trading Standards Officers will NEVER ask a resident for money.
There are certain precautions that can be taken to guard against doorstep callers:
Mark Strain, Senior Trading Standards Officer said: "If you suspect any bogus officials or are at all suspicious about a cold caller, please report the matter to Trading Standards by contacting the Citizens Advice Consumer Service on 03454 04 05 06. I would also advise that you log the incident with the police. Also tell a friend, neighbour or relative about any scams you become aware of."
Report scams or suspected scams to Action Fraud: 0300 123 2040 www.actionfraud.police.uk
For press enquiries or to arrange an interview with a spokesperson please contact the Council's Communications team on 01905 766646.
Follow Worcestershire County Council on Twitter @worcscc and Trading Standards @worcsts