January Newsletter

Having trouble viewing this email? View it as a Web page.


Welcome to January's Newsletter

Welcome all to the first newsletter of 2022.  I hope you all well and had a great Christmas and New Year.

The scam in focus this month is on rogue traders, Melanie Wicklen Cheif Executive of Age UK joined Jeremy Sallis to advise how you can help protect yourself against them.  

The other scam going around at the moment, is the parcel delivery scam and I joined Dotty Mcleod to discus this scam just before Christmas.

Scam in Focus - Bogus trades people

This months Scam in focus and how to protect yourself.

A trade scam is where scammers are using legitimate sites in order to find victims. 

When winter passes, our thoughts soon turn to all those spring maintenance jobs we couldn’t do in the colder months. So how do you find good tradespeople to do work on your home and protect yourself from rogue traders who overcharge for poor quality goods and services, or demand money upfront and then don’t show up to do the job?

  • Recommendations from friends and family is a good starting point, but, with people moving around more often these days, it might not be possible to get a personal recommendation if you are new to an area. That’s why people are increasingly turning to the internet to find tradespeople and comparison and finder sites are springing up for this purpose. CAPASP recommends, however, sticking to the more well-established sites such as Safe Local Trades, https://www.safelocaltrades.com/  , Buy with Confidence https://www.buywithconfidence.gov.uk/ , Checkatrade  https://www.checkatrade.com/ or TrustATrader https://www.trustatrader.com/ which have robust vetting and reviewing procedures in place and which are therefore highly unlikely to list any rogue traders.
  • Stay within your comfort zone when interacting with potential tradespeople, if you feel that something isn’t right, trust your gut instincts and assume that it probably isn’t and break the contact. If a tradesperson then pesters you, it can be a further sign that they are not legitimate.
  • Tradespeople are usually sole traders or a very small team who are unlikely to have a receptionist or secretary.  They will be conducting their call-backs in the evenings and weekends when they have some time, so, if you are called back immediately, by a secretary or receptionist, or by the person himself, that could be a warning sign.
  • Good tradespeople are inundated with work and have a waiting list, so another warning sign could be If you are told they can start the work immediatly. Everyone gets cancellations, even genuine tradespeople, but they will generally move up the jobs in order. It is rare therefore that a good tradesperson will be able to come in the next week so be prepared to wait several weeks, it will be worth it in the long run.
  • Genuine tradespeople won’t ask for the invoice to be paid in full before the work commences. Now remembering that they are usually sole traders or small businesses, they may ask you to pay for the materials up front.  If this is the case they won’t be offended if you tell them to give you a list of what they need and you order it and pay for it and get it delivered to your house. 

More information about your consumer rights when dealing with tradespeople can be found here:  https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/consumer/getting-home-improvements-done/cancelling-building-or-decorating-work/

If you wish to report a tradesperson to Trading Standards you can do so via the Citizens Advice Consumer Helpline 0808 223 1133 or using the online form here: https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/consumer/get-more-help/report-to-trading-standards/ . If you have been intimidated by a tradesperson and wish to report it to the Police, call 101 or use the online form here:  https://www.cambs.police.uk/report/Report . In an emergency situation, always call 999.

Partner in the spotlight - Age UK

Age UK Cambridgeshire and Peterborough is a local independent charity with around 150 staff and 500 volunteers. We provide a wide range of support and services for older people, their families and carers.  With a focus on offering Information, practical and social and emotional services we work with older people to ensure needs are met and independence is increased, or maintained.  Over the Christmas period we supported the discharge of a number of patients home from hospital and prevented admissions, providing wellbeing calls and visits, installation of keysafes and delivering groceries, on a regular basis.  Our Information team, Community Wardens, Handypersons and Home Support Workers also gave much needed help during this period.  However, these are just some of our many services and we invite you to take a look at our website to learn more:

Welcome to Age UK Cambridgeshire and Peterborough

We offer many volunteering opportunities from befriending to support with media and communications.  We believe there is a role for everybody, regardless of ability or time available, who has an interest in the ethos of the organisation and wishes to share and learn new skills.  Again, please look at our website to learn more.

We have offices in Chatteris, Cambridge and Peterborough with a number of day service sites across the county.

If you wish to get in touch with us please call 0300 666 9860 or email infoandadvice@ageukcap.org.uk

BBC Radio Cambridgeshire Jeremy Sallis - Update from the Show on Tuesday

Melanie Wicklen

Topic - Apps and websites for finding trades people.

This month it was Melanie Wicklen (Chief Executive of Age UK Cambridgeshire and Peterborough)'s, turn to join Jeremy Sallis on his BBC Radio Cambridgeshire 

Jeremy Sallis - North by North East - BBC Sounds from around 2:35:53

See main article left for details

BBC Radio Cambridgeshire Dotty McLeod - Update from the Show on Thursday 23rd December

Dotty McLeod

Natasha Fountain was on the Dotty Mcleod show to warn people about the Parcel Delivery scams. 

To listen click the link below.

Dotty McLeod - 23/12/2021 - BBC Sounds  fast forward to 1:55:08

Help needed - Sharing Media posts

insta FB

We need your help with sharing CAPASP’s social media posts to get scams awareness messages across to as many people as possible. So, if you haven’t already done so, please follow us on our social media Facebook @CAPASP19 , Twitter @CAPA5P and Instagram @capasp19 and share widely amongst your own networks

Scams to be aware of in January - Courier and delivery scams

Scammers who are using the current environment of increased online shopping due to Corona Virus, Christmas, and spending Christmas money online, to pretend that their is postage owing on a parcel.

These messages can come as a text or an email.  Don't assume because they have your number they are legitimate.

Our advice is, even if you are expecting a parcel and receive a message to say the postage is wrong, ignore it, at the very worst the parcel will be returned to sender, and you will email the company asking where your parcel is and they will resend, but you will probably find you receive your parcel any way.