News and Scam Alerts from Coventry Trading Standards - 22 July 2019

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News and Scam Alerts from Coventry Trading Standards - 22 July 2019

In this issue:

Doorstep caller warning!


Trading Standards are warning residents to be vigilant and on their guard for rogue traders as we continue into Summer and the warmer weather.

Every year at this time, there is a marked increase in reports where gardening, roofing and general building services seem to be the favorites on offer.

This summer, we have already received reports where residents have been talked into paying large sums of money for poor quality gardening work, overpriced pressure washing of driveways, as well as ‘new’ substandard driveways.

Claims are made that these callers have noticed work that ‘needs’ doing as they drove past and cheap, simple jobs such as guttering work quickly escalate into more extensive works as they ‘notice’ more and more issues that need doing. Unfortunately, the targets of these people are often our elderly, vulnerable residents.

A rogue trader will usually start with a low price to increase the chance of people agreeing to the work, but then, they will increase the price without warning or explanation and pressure for the increased payment.

Trading Standards advise people never to enter into any contract at their doorsteps. Rogue traders will attempt to frighten and pressurise into having work done which often isn’t necessary at all. They will usually only accept cash and often leave none or very limited paperwork as they do not want to be traced once the work is done.

How to deal with callers at your door:

  • Be on your guard if someone turns up unexpectedly.
  • Keep front and back doors locked.
  • Fit a door chain or bar – use it and keep it on when talking to callers at the door.
  • If you’re not sure, don’t answer the door.
  • Don’t feel embarrassed - genuine callers expect you to be careful.
  • Always ask for identification badges of anyone you answer the door to, but don’t rely on them. Identity cards can be faked – phone the company to verify their identity. Don’t worry about keeping the person waiting outside – a genuine official will not mind waiting
  • Anyone agreeing to a contract in their own home costing more than £42 is legally entitled to a 14-day cancellation period where they can change their mind. If you are not given cancellation rights, do not sign up.
  • Never agree to pay for any goods or services  to anyone trying to business at your door.
  • Don’t keep large amounts of money in your home.
  • Remember, it’s your home. There’s no reason why anyone should ever enter your home against your wishes.
  • If you feel in danger or threatened at any time call 999 immediately!

Watch this video to see how victims are targeted and the impact it can have

With thanks to Kent County Council Trading Standards in partnership with Slough TS, Public Protection Partnership, Oxfordshire TS, Medway TS, Kent Fire and Rescue Service, Greater Manchester Police, and the Kent PCC who have produced this video.

The Police are also issuing warnings to householders about the dangers of leaving windows wide open in the warmer weather, especially at night.

You can protect your personal property by registering your property with

This free online checking service is used thousands of times each day by UK Police forces to trace owners of lost and stolen property.

If you have any information about suspicious trading activity, please call the Citizens Advice Consumer Service on 03454 04 05 06.

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