Be Aware! Lancashire hit with a flurry of Cold Callers and Scam Service attempts
Thursday, February 11, 2021
Several new reports of cold callers offering repair work and fake vaccine scam text continue to circulate, warn Lancashire's trading standards experts, as they ask the public to remain alert.
Reports have been received of cold callers offering tarmacking work, knocking on doors in rural areas surrounding Garstang.
On two occasions, a small amount of work was agreed, but the traders continued to carry out further work that had not been agreed, asking for payment in the thousands of pounds. Family members and the police were made aware and the money did not change hands.
Meanwhile, residents in the Chorley area are advised to be on their guard following two incidents where cold calling roofers claimed that work needed to be carried out on first the front roof, then the back roof, of a retired lady's house. A minor repair was carried out and over £1500 taken, with a further attempt to obtain another £1000.
In another incident in the Chorley area, a householder had seen roofers carrying out work on their street. They approached the traders, asking them to carry out repairs on their home. initially £1300 for roofing repair work was agreed, but the job soon escalated, with the householder being quoted a price of £17,000 for minor repairs, this was then decreased to £10,000.
The householder alerted the authorities and the work did not proceed.
Remember, a trader should always give written cancellation rights where you agree to work being carried out in your own home. In this case no paperwork, or trader name and address details were given, which makes tracing the perpetrators very difficult.
Do your research, and never feel pressured into making a hurried decision to agree to work.
County Councillor Albert Atkinson, cabinet member for technical services, rural affairs and waste management, said: "At a time where the country has to come together, it's disappointing to see people trying to take advantage and profit from others.
"We'll continue to make sure that these attempts for scam services are uncovered as soon as we possibly can.
"Talk to friends or family members and try and keep to local known traders, use recommendation services like our Lancashire Safe Trader Scheme. This service can help you find a trader in your area."
To use the Lancashire Safe Trader Scheme, contact 0303 333 1111 or go to www.safetrader.org.uk
Online and phone scam reports have included a fake text, which has been reported nationally telling people they are eligible to apply for the Covid-19 vaccine. The text reads 'we have identified that you are eligible to apply for your vaccine' and takes you to a link which is an extremely convincing looking fake NHS website asking for personal details and bank details.
As with many scams, this scam preys on peoples vulnerabilities at what is a very stressful and difficult time.
Similar scam messages designed to steal your personal and banking details include a DVLA text claiming you are due a refund, Royal Mail asking for a shipping charge payment and BBC TV licence holders being offered a Covid refund payment.
County Councillor Atkinson added: "Remember to be wary of online and telephone scams. If you receive one of these messages, don't select the link or reply. Just delete or block if possible."
To keep up-to-date with the latest scams effecting Lancashire, follow our: Scambuster Stan page on Facebook
To report any scams or rogue traders, contact Lancashire Trading Standards via the Citizens Advice Consumer Helpline on 0808 223 1133.