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Beat The Scams

Published on 19 March 2018 11:30 AM

Local residents are being urged not to employ uninvited doorstep callers

If work needs to be done on your property, known and reputable traders should be used. Residents should be extremely wary of any doorstep caller looking to carry out gardening or building work.

This warning comes following reports from the Tile Hill area of a male in a white van approaching residents with a view to offering guttering cleaning services. The MO being used is that work has been done on a neighbour’s house and the residents guttering has been seen to have a blockage.

Although it is not illegal for traders to go door to door, unless there are specific restrictions within that location, most agreements entered into must come with written cancellation rights unless the cost is under £42.

When employing these doorstep callers, the concern is that after agreeing to work for a nominal cost, the resident is then informed that there is a lot more work needed and the costs escalate.

Our advice as always is not to deal with unexpected cold callers as this is a favoured approach used by rogue traders whose sole intention is to extract as much money from residents as possible.

If you do need work on your property or garden, use a reputable local trader who has been recommended by friends or family or someone who has been vetted and is part of the Age UK (Coventry) Trusted Traders Scheme, a partnership with Coventry Trading Standards. This service is available to people of all ages living in the Coventry area and can be contacted by phoning 024 7643 3982.

And yet another doorstep caller report ...

Trading Standards is also warning of cold callers in the Coundon area of the city.

It has been reported that a male is going door to door claiming to be a ‘local’ builder just starting out, and offering property repairs.

However, the leaflet being left gives a Head Office address in Birmingham which hardly makes him ‘local’!

Tactics often used by such callers are to tell householders that they have noticed problems with the roof or gutters and urgent repair work is needed to prevent further damage.

We would ask that if you have any elderly or vulnerable neighbours that you keep a look out for rogue traders especially if you notice cold callers in your area or anyone acting suspiciously. It would also help if registration numbers of vehicles being used by the cold callers are noted down and reported.

If you have any information that may help us track down these unscrupulous cold callers or you wish to report any incidents involving a rogue trader or doorstep crime, contact us on 03454 04 05 06 or use our online reporting form.(External link)

REMEMBER - a trader who ignores any request by you to leave your home and not return commits a criminal offence.

National News: False claims of an enhanced Telephone Preference Service

Fraudsters are cold-calling victims, falsely stating that they are calling from one of the well-known UK telecommunication service providers.

They call victims claiming to provide a ‘Telephone Preference Service’ – an enhanced call-barring service, which includes barring international call centres.

The fraudsters ask victims to confirm/provide their bank account details, informing them that there is a one-off charge for the service. Victims instead see monthly debits deducted from their accounts, which they have not authorised.

These fraudsters often target elderly victims.

We have heard of one instance where an elderly resident was called 7 times, one after the other. When the caller was advised they were already registered with The Telephone Preference Service, it was alleged that they offered ‘an enhanced service’. The caller then went on to warn the resident not to put the phone down!

During 2017, there were 493 Action Fraud Reports relating to this fraud

Our advice is to register for free at TPS Online (External Link) or by calling 0845 070 0707.

The Telephone Preference Service (TPS) is completely free to consumers and will not call anyone to ask for personal details or payment to complete a registration.

Whilst this will not prevent all nuisance calls it should reduce them.

Remember, if you are registered with the TPS you should not receive calls from anyone in the UK trying to sell you a call blocking service!