Posted on Monday 6th November 2023
People in parts of South Staffordshire are being urged to be on their guard for rogue traders targeting residents in the area.
Staffordshire County Council’s Trading Standards service have issued the warning following reports of rogue traders offering to carry out gardening work and house repairs. Elderly residents in particular have been approached by doorstep criminals who rush people into work they don’t want or is overpriced.
With the damage caused by the recent storms and the need to get work done in an emergency , officers are reminding people not to be pressurised into having work carried out and to be wary of any unsolicited calls to their home. Anyone approached on their doorstep, who feels threatened or has concerns about doorstep callers or rogue traders should call Staffordshire police on 101.
Victoria Wilson, cabinet member responsible for Trading Standards at Staffordshire County Council said:
“Rogue traders can be a real menace to our communities, often preying on the most vulnerable, particularly the elderly.
We have received a number of complaints about a particular rogue trader who is pressurising elderly people into getting work done, charging high prices and claiming that their property has been damaged by the recent storms. Reputable trades people do not cold call and our advice to people would be to always use a reputable trader and never hand over money to unsolicited cold callers.
If you’re approached by a cold caller or someone asking for money for work they claim to have carried out, please report it to the Police on 101. If you feel threatened then call 999.”
Common services offered by rogue traders and cold callers include general building work, gardening work, roofing, repairs and maintenance and driveway resurfacing. Prices charged are usually excessive and anyone accepting work will pay much more than intended.
Work is also often very poor quality, can be dangerous and in some cases isn’t even done. Doorstep criminals in particular also rarely provide paperwork so they can't be traced once they've left people’s homes. Names, addresses and business details are often false and telephone numbers don't get answered.
Further advice on spotting and avoiding rogue traders is available from the Citizens advice website or on 08082231133.