Cold Callers And Doorstep Rogue Traders
Warning to residents about Cold Callers and Doorstep Rogue Traders
This is the time of year when we traditionally see an increase in offences that start with a 'cold call' knock at your door, from someone claiming to be a tradesman working in the area. They will call unexpectedly, offering services or goods that you hadn't asked for. Those who accept work find the price increases or work is left unfinished.
The usual type of work offered includes pressure washing driveways, garden clearance, chimney repairs, replacing loose tiles, repairing leaking roofs or guttering and driveway work.
If you accept work from a doorstep trader you're very likely to pay much more than the price initially agreed for very poor, unnecessary and sometimes dangerous work and you are likely to be targeted by them again in the future. They generally target the older generation, who are sometimes more trusting and more vulnerable to falling victims to these offences.
Doorstep traders rarely provide paperwork so they can't be traced once they've left your home. Names, addresses and business details are often false and telephone numbers don't get answered. They have no interest in doing work properly, their only concern is getting the cash and disappearing before Trading Standards or the Police can catch up with them.
Cold Calling can also be a cover for persons planning more serious offences, such as burglaries, to see if houses are occupied. Cold Callers might also commit 'Bogus Official' offences where they gain entry to the house by deception in order to steal, whilst the occupant is distracted.
Please be aware of cold callers in the area and pass on this advice to friends and neighbours who might not receive the neighbourhood alert emails. Genuine reputable local tradesmen do not need to find work in this way.
You shouldn't feel pressured to accept any work or service you don't want. It's your home and your right to say 'No'. If you suspect a crime is in progress, or about to occur please note descriptions and contact police on 999.
Message received via Thames Valley Alert.