The following scam alert was received from the Hampshire County Council Trading Standards Service. Please beware of this and similar attempts to defarud you, and note the contact details at the end to whom you can report any suspicious actitivy.
For more information:
Hampshire Trading Standards Service have recently been made aware of a disturbing incident whereby a telephone cold caller falsely stated they were from the Trading Standards Service.
The individual claimed the company who cleaned the resident’s roof 3 to 4 years ago was no longer trading, and recommended that they had another company to inspect the roof to see if it was still okay. He gave them the name of a company and persuaded them to contact that company.
As a result, the resident engaged with the recommended company and ended up being persuaded to enter into a contract for £6,000, with a £2,000 deposit taken on debit card. The following day workers arrived and advised the resident that their roof was in a poor state, needed new tiles and coated with a sealant/paint. It is not clear if this is was part of the £6000 or in addition. The contract has since been cancelled.
Hampshire Trading Standards would like to reassure residents that they will never cold call to recommend individual companies, and strongly advise against agreeing to work that is instigated as a result of a cold call.
Best advice is to obtain at least 3 written quotes from reputable businesses or traders who are either members of the Hampshire County Council Trading Standards Buy With Confidence scheme or a recognised trade association.
Members of the Buy With Confidence scheme are fully audited to ensure their trading practices are legal, honest and fair. All members have been checked for trustworthiness and compliance with consumer protection laws. Directories can be obtained free of charge by telephone on 0808 223 1133, email firstname.lastname@example.org or order online.
An up to date list of businesses is available on the Buy With Confidence.
Traders who agree work at the home of an individual or at a place other than their usual business premises are required by law to provide consumers with a Notice of Right to Cancel, which gives a 14 day cooling off period from the date the work starts. Even if work has started, there is still a legal right to cancel, although some payment may be required for materials already used.
To inform Trading Standards about cold calling, please report the matter to our partners at the Citizens Advice Consumer Helpline on 0808 223 1133. Please also try to obtain a name and address for the company.
Doorstep Crime can be reported to Hampshire Police on their non-urgent number 101 or dial 999 if you feel threatened or intimidated.
[this page was last edited on 4 Oct 2020]