Bogus tradesmen, door-to-door sales or doorstep fraud involves fraudsters trying to scam you after knocking at your door.
Legitimate doorstep selling involves someone selling you goods or services in your home or on your doorstep. Many honest businesses use this technique, but so do fraudsters.
Protect yourself against bogus tradesmen fraud
- Do not let anyone you don’t know into your home.? If in doubt keep them out.? You might think it’s rude to refuse entry to someone who turns up at your door but it is your homeand your decision.
- Ask to see the callers ID card and call the company to see if they are genuine.? To be safe, look up the company number yourself rather than trust the number on the ID card.
- Set up a password with your gas and electricity providers so that you can be sure these callers are genuine.? Contact your utility company to arrange this.
- Where possible use a trader that has been recommended by family or friends.
- Use approval schemes, such as Trust a Trader, Buy with Confidence or Which? Trusted Traders to find approved traders in your area.
- Check credentials, including a permanent business address and landline telephone number. The mobile phone numbers given on business cards are often pay-as-you-go numbers which are virtually impossible to trace.
- Take control by asking the questions. Ask for references from previous customers or to see examples of their work.
- Do not sign for or agree to work on the spt shop around. Get at least three written quotes to make sure you’re not being ripped off.
- Don’t pay until the work is finished.
- If in any doubt, ask the person to leave or call Consumer Direct on 08454 04 05 06. (Consumer Direct works in partnership with local Trading Standards Authorities).
What should you do if you’ve been a victim of bogus tradesmen fraud?
- Report it to Action Fraud.
- Notify the police so they can attempt to locate the offenders and warn other residents.
- You can report the salesperson to Consumer Directby calling 08454 04 05 06 or to your local Trading Standards Authority if you believe they have sold you faulty, inferior or overpriced products or services.
- Similarly, you can seek advice from the Citizens Advice Bureau about the terms and conditions of any agreement or contract you may have signed.
- If you’ve made the payment by credit/debit card or by cheque, contact your credit card company and/or bank and advise them that you’re a victim of improper door-to-door sales techniques and your identity or financial details may have been compromised. They’ll advise you on cancelling payments and ensuring your finances remain secure.
Wednesday, March 23, 2016