Rogue Traders and Doorstep Crime
Has anyone ever knocked your door trying to sell you goods or services? Many honest businesses use this technique – but so do fraudsters.
Rogue Traders often appear to be highly professional. They can have printed leaflets and vehicles branded with their company name, making you think they are legitimate. Don’t be fooled - they are criminals!
They often use highly pressurised selling techniques to convince victims to use their services and they charge exorbitant prices for work of a poor standard or work that is never carried out. We often hear stories about people being convinced that they need work done, for example building work on their home, that doesn’t even need to be done. In the worse cases, we’ve seen rogue traders stealing cash and belongings from the homes of their victims.
How to protect yourself against rogue traders and bogus callers:
- Only use businesses that have been recommended to you by a trusted friend or family member and you can see examples of their work
- Ask for quotes in writing and then follow up by getting another three quotes from independent traders to check that the price quoted is accurate
- Get the address of their company. If possible, visit the premises to check that it exists
- Don’t be fooled by someone who say that they are just working up the street or that they have done work for your neighbour. Some people say this to gain your trust. Ask for specific examples and then follow up to check if what they have said is true
- If someone calls at your home trying to sell you something, don’t let them in and always ask for ID
- Many streets in Gwent are now ‘no cold calling zones’. Talk to the Trading Standards Team in your local council for more information.
Remember traders must give you written notice of your right to 14 days cancellation when agreeing to do work at your home, including work gained from a cold call.
What should you do if you’ve been a victim?
- Report it to Action Fraud, the national fraud and cyber-crime reporting centre. You can do this on-line by going to www.actionfraud.police.uk/report_fraud or by calling 0300 123 2040
- You can also report it to the Trading Standards team in your local council
- Citizens Advice can help by giving you advice on terms and conditions of agreements or contract you may have signed. You can call the consumer helpline on 03454 04 05 06 or go to www.citizensadvice.org.uk/wales/ for other ways to get in touch.
- If you’ve paid by credit or debit card for goods or services, contact your card provider/bank and explain that you have been a victim. They’ll be able to give you advice on how to cancel payments and protect your identity from being possibly stolen.
- We’re always here to help. You can call us on 101 or 999 in an emergency. You can also contact Connect Gwent, our victims hub on 0300 123 21 33 or by visiting www.connectgwent.org.uk