Community Message - Door Step Crime - Rogue Traders
Over the past year, due to early intervention, Buckinghamshire Trading Standards was able to stop £90,760 from being handed over to rogue doorstep traders who largely prey on the elderly and vulnerable.
But this was just the tip of the iceberg. The full scale of this type of crime remains largely unreported but Trading Standards put a conservative estimate on the direct cost to Bucks consumers as over £4.8 million last year alone.
This eye-watering figure however fails to convey the immense emotional and physical damage these incidents can have on the victims and their families. In a number of instances the psychological and severe financial straits victims have been left in has placed additional burdens on support services such as Adult Social Care.
Therefore to improve the chances of an early intervention to avoid these human and financial costs Trading Standards are urging you to help them identify potential rogue traders; unsolicited callers offering services such as gardening, roofing and driveways, and bring the matter to their attention. This involves keeping an eye out for your neighbours and relations, especially those who are elderly or your might think vulnerable, and of course be wary yourselves.
To assist with identifying a rogue trader Trading Standards has produced a few tips:
Be wary of traders who are touting or cruising for work. Genuine traders rarely need to door knock!
- Wherever possible look for traders from the Approved BUY WITH CONFIDENCE scheme.
- Make your own checks on the trader’s validity e.g. do they actually trade from the where they say they do? Ask yourself why is a trader from out of the locality offering to do work? Is it really so specialised that there is no local tradesman?
- Always get a written quote and REMEMBER – you must be given a written notice of your 7 day cancellation period by law. Don't feel pressurised to have the work done immediately – an honest trader will give you time to think about it and make your enquiries.
- If a price is too good to be true then think twice. BUY CHEAP = BUY TWICE!
If you have any suspicions whatsoever regarding any traders you can always call or e-mail Trading Standards– all notifications will be treated in confidence.To find a trader you can trust visit www.buywithconfidence.gov.uk or call 08454 040506.