In Staffordshire, along with the rest of the UK, rogue traders continue to cause problems for residents. Particularly those who are elderly and vulnerable.
Rogue traders are often referred to as 'cowboys' and pose as:
- Property maintenance workers
They offer any number of services to residents. They wili offer substandard or non-existent services at grossly inflated prices and often target the vulnerable or elderly in the community.
Rogue traders cost the UK millions of pounds each year.
Our fraud and special investigations team works with the police to tackle rogue traders, doorstep crime and counterfeiting throughout the county helping to reassure Staffordshire residents.
How can I get help?
The Staffordshire and Stoke on Trent Trader Register offers a solution for consumers concerned about where to find a reliable tradesperson locally.
A number of 'No Cold Calling Zones' have been set up in Staffordshire with the aim of discouraging rogue traders who may tell householders that work needs doing and then charge high prices, sell poor quality items or pressure sell.
Report a rogue trader
Trading Standards Confidential: 01785 330356
Advice on your consumer rights
Citizens Advice consumer helpline: 0808 223 1133
Some people who call at your home will be genuine. Other callers will turn up unannounced and trick you into having work done that isn't necessary or will try to gain access to your home to steal money or valuables.
You should always be aware when someone you don't know calls at your door.
Doorstep crime is financial abuse
Watch this video to show how victims are targeted, how the criminals demand money and help you spot the signs.
How can I protect myself?
Rogue doorstep sellers and bogus callers will often be smartly dressed.
They will usually have a story to get your attention. They may claim to be from or working with the council, police or utility service providers such as gas, electricity or water companies.
They can be convincing and persuasive. That's their job and they're good at it!
Some may even use false identity cards or dress up for the part for example, wearing overalls with a false company logo. But if you are in any doubt don't let them in.
Official visitors should always arrange an appointment beforehand. If you're not expecting them and you are alone then ask them to call back later when you have somebody with you. They will always be happy to do this.
What to do
- Lock. Keep front and back door locked.
- Stop. Are you expecting anybody? Do they have an appointment?
- Chain. Put your door bar or chain on - It's a useful barrier because they may try and pressurise you or even force their way in.
- Check their details carefully but do not let them in. If you are interested then arrange for them to come back later when you have somebody with you and can give some thought to it.
Rogue builders or gardeners often trick people into paying very high prices for unnecessary or shoddy work.
- Never agree to have work done by somebody who is just passing or take their word that it needs to be done at all.
- Never pay for anything before any work is done.
- Never accept an offer from them to drive you to the bank to withdraw money.
If you think work needs to be done:
For complaints about goods and services Citizens Advice give free, confidential and impartial advice on consumer issues.
Web: Citizens Advice
Phone: 03454 04 05 06