Warnings About Rogue Traders

Stockport Trading Standards are issuing warnings to Stockport residents to beware of cold callers offering to carry out repairs to damaged properties.

Stockport Trading Standards are issuing warnings to Stockport residents to beware of cold callers offering to carry out repairs to damaged properties. "Whenever an emergency of this nature occurs, it seems to bring unscrupulous traders out of the woodwork," said Councillor Sheila Bailey.

Rogue traders can pose as any kind of worker, a range of flood recovery services are offered and other assistance including tree chopping, garden clearance, guttering, driveway cleaning and roof cleaning. "If you do need emergency work done to your property, ignore the claims of bogus callers if they turn up at your door,"

Rogue traders offer sub-standard or non-existent goods and services which are often unnecessary and at grossly inflated prices. Work may start as a simple gutter cleaning job or gardening work but then escalates as other “problems” are uncovered. Offenders often target the vulnerable or elderly and can also intimidate residents in order to extort money.

There are a few simple steps you can take:

• Don’t feel pressured into making a decision on your doorstep.
• Always ask for proof of identity. Take it from the person and read it carefully before deciding what to do.
• Never use a phone number provided by the caller as it could be a false number to an accomplice.
• Never pay for work before it is completed. Always agree a final price in writing and get an invoice and receipt as proof of payment.
• Do not accept any offer to drive you to the bank to withdraw money or give them your bank details.
• If you need to get work done to your home, get several written quotes from trustworthy or recommended firms and then decide who is right for you.

You can help by:

• Keeping an eye on people calling in the area or acting suspiciously.
• Calling on vulnerable people regularly.
• Look out for vehicles without business details doing general gardening/driveway or building work.
• Inform the Citizens Advice helpline on 03454 04 05 06 or the Police on 101 about any suspicious people, activity or vehicles, however insignificant it may seem.

Councillor Sheila Bailey, Cabinet Member for Communities and Housing at Stockport Council, said: “This is an upsetting time for all those who have suffered damage to their homes, and we don't want anyone to be taken advantage of whilst in this vulnerable state”.

"Any work on a house should be carried out by an approved trader who will be happy to show you their credentials and agree a fixed price before any work is carried out. If anyone does come knocking at your door and is aggressive in trying to persuade you work needs doing on your home, please refuse them and shut the door.”

If you have concerns about any work you see taking place please report it to Trading Standards on 03454 04 05 06.