Elderly and vulnerable residents are being warned not to fall victim to rogue traders following a spate of incidents in the south of the county in the last couple of weeks.
Wiltshire Council has had three reports of bogus callers requesting cash from elderly residents to carry out repairs on drains and downpipes, with work not taking place. The cost has ranged from £40 to £300. Unfortunately one resident handed over £40 and has reported a missing key.
The obvious signs of potential rogue traders could be:
- Appear not to be local (due to accents or no genuine local address provided)
- Only a mobile phone number given – no land line
- No written quotation provided and no details of the right to cancel provided
- Vague about the cost or what work will be done
- Cost appears cheap for the work offered – this will often be a bait as costs will rise
The advice is that:
- Elderly residents should not answer the door to unexpected callers
- People should not be tricked into stepping outside their home by any unexpected caller
- People should call 999 if they feel intimidated by a caller or a caller will not leave when they are asked to
If residents need work doing to their home they should approach local reputable businesses for three separate quotes to compare costs. People should also use local schemes to find a reputable trader.
Wiltshire Council corporate director, Maggie Rae said: “We would urge vulnerable and elderly residents to always remain vigilant so that they are not taken advantage of. We would hate to see someone out of pocket and would also ask that friends and families help us to raise awareness among those more likely to fall victim to this kind of scam.”
Wiltshire Council cabinet member for public protection, Keith Humphries, said: “We hope by raising awareness of these crimes residents won’t hand over their hard earned money to unscrupulous people who give the many honest tradespeople in Wiltshire a bad name.”
To find out what traders are on the AgeUK Traders List people should call 01380 727767.
For further advice people should call the consumer helpline on 03454 040506