A rogue trader or bogus caller may call uninvited to your home with the intention of tricking you into letting them in so that they can steal or persuade you to hand over money for a product or service you don't need or at an inflated price. Older adults in particular are at risk.
They will often use fear as a way of persuading you to have the work done. They may tell you that, if they don't do the work right now, the house may be in danger of major damage.
Help to deal with rogue traders and bogus callers
For help you can call Citizens Advice on 0808 223 1133.
How to protect yourself from doorstep crime
- Never agree to have any work done as a result of a cold call. Don't make snap decisions and don't be pressurised into having the job done.
- If you think work needs doing to your home, get quotes from two or three traders. Ask friends and relatives to recommend a reputable business.
- Ask for the full name and address from a trader before considering dealing with them. Never rely solely on a mobile phone number.
- Ask for a written quotation detailing all the proposed work and a final price for the job.
- Only pay once the work is completed to your satisfaction. Don't pay cash. Don't pay money up front for trader's materials.
- Check the identity of all callers to your home. Ask for photo identification even if the caller claims to be from a utility company, the police or local authority. Check it carefully with the telephone number in the phone book, not the number on the ID.
- Do not keep cash in your home no matter how well you think it is hidden. Never pay traders in cash as this is an indication that you may have more cash on the premises.