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Tackling rogue traders together

Rogue traders prey on vulnerable and elderly people and today we’ve held a day of action to target criminals who pretend to be legitimate traders.

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Today we’ve stopped a man in Stoke Bishop handing over £10,000 to rogue traders and we’ve asked Trading Standards to check the standard of work on a driveway in Fishponds, which is costing £5,000.

Across the force area our local policing teams have been busy revisiting recent burglary victims to ensure they are safe and their homes are protected. In South Gloucestershire alone 36 homes were visited.

Did you know rogue traders often canvass an area offering driveway cleaning or gardening as a way of choosing a property to target? They take advantage of vulnerable people by using high-pressure sales techniques for overpriced, poor quality or unnecessary work.

You can help by simply checking on your neighbour; say hello, have a chat with them about the tradesmen they use. You could offer to be with them when a tradesman comes to discuss work.

A recent story, with a powerful message:

A 72 year-old woman from the Redfield area of Bristol was the victim of Rogue Traders. She was alone at home, when unfamiliar men turned up at the property claiming to be from her water provider, asking to perform what they described as ‘routine checks’.
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After being granted access to the house, they then used distraction techniques, confusing the lady in order to scope the house for valuables. The lady said; "I just wish that I was close with my neighbours. I would like to know somebody looking out for me. I've also started checking any unfamiliar visitors ID.”

Here are some top tips to keep you, and your neighbours, safe from rogue traders
  • Who are they? Check they have ID and give their company a call to confirm they are legitimate. Don’t use the telephone numbers the trader provides, look online or in your local directory.
  • No details, no deal.  Don’t use traders who appear at the door with no company details and offer to do work for cash.
  • Don’t speak to them alone. Genuine callers won't mind coming back on another day. This buys time to check their identity too.
  • Keep your house safe. Keep doors  locked and windows secure at all times. Where possible, have a safety  chain fitted and always attach the chain before opening the door to strangers.

Good to know...

  • A trader breaks the law if they visit your home and refuse to leave when requested to do so.
  • Claiming a product is available for a limited time to pressure a sale is illegal.
  • Inaccurately claiming you are at risk if you don't buy goods is illegal

Remember your doorstep, your decision. If you suspect a rogue trader is at your door dial 999.