Watch out for doorstep scams “Who’s after your money?”
This page is raise awareness of the potential doorstep scams that you may fall victim to. This article will explain the different types of scams in operation today and we’ll explain ways in which you can protect yourself.
What is a rogue trader?
Rogue traders pretend to be trades or sales people offering various goods and services to you in your home. Most of the time they carry out poor work and sometimes massively overcharge you. They often prey on the vulnerable and the elderly.
Doorstep scams, what to look out for?
Scammers may target you in your home by cold calling at your property offering you services such as roofing, gardening, driveways, damp proofing and TV aerial installation.
They may start by quoting you a small amount for the work to be carried out. They will often trick you into trusting them and then increase the costs when they start. They may tell you work needs doing when it’s not required.
These are people who will call at your home and pretend to be the waterboard, the council or a similar organisation. These bogus callers are actually burglars trying to get easy access to your home. NEVER let know one into your home if you have your doubts. Don’t trust them based on your ID as it could be a fake.
Bogus mobility equipment sellers
These potential scammers will usually arrange an appointment before visiting your home. They will often claim to be working with social services and say you are due mobility assessment. These are actually companies who will send sales people in to your home. They will try and pressure you into buying equipment that you may not need and could get somewhere you a lot cheaper.
Bogus home security sellers
These scammers often work in a similar way to mobility seller, but these may claim to be working with the police your or local council, offering free security checks. Again, they will send you a sales person and once they are in your home they will try and pressure you into buying an expensive alarm system. They put added pressure on you by claiming the price is ‘only available today’ when actually you may find a similar system elsewhere a lot cheaper.
Fake lotteries and prize draws
You may receive a letter in the post claiming you’ve won a prize, often a large amount of money, from a lottery or a prize draw you don’t remember entering.
People may visit your home, unannounced, offering you entry into a free prize draw. These almost all the times are scams, designed to obtain your private information or to try and get you to send payment for a non-existent prize.
You can stop unwanted sales calls by calling the Telephone Preference Service on 0845 070 0707. If you would like to stop mail then 0845 7034599. This may not stop all cold calls.
What are you rights?
You have 7 days to cancel any contract to have signed in your home. This will be your cooling off period, designed to give you a chance to change your mind.
If the trader fails to give you your cancellation rights in the correct legal way they CANNOT enforce the contract and they could be prosecuted.
Its illegal for a trader to force you to sign away your cancellation rights
Never let the trader to start work there and then. Give yourself to think is this something you really want.
Never pay for work prior to completion. A legitimate trader will never ask for anything more than a deposit. You may be asked though to pay for materials.
Ask for a receipt detailing all the work that has been completed. If a trader refuses to do this, don’t pay them a call your local trading standards.