The fairer weather during longer summer days often results in an increase in rogue traders appearing unannounced at people’s homes offering services such as home maintenance, gardening work, gutter cleaning or pressure washing.
Fraudsters will try to take advantage of people’s fears about the continuing cost of living crisis and try to con homeowners that they are getting a bargain when, in fact, the opposite is true.
Any work carried out can be substandard and of poor quality. In some instances, residents will pay hard-earned cash up front only to find that little or no work takes place, and the scammer has disappeared.
This does not necessarily lead to a rise in complaints about this type of behaviour because such incidents very often go unreported.
Trading standards’ advice is simple – do not do business with cold callers.
An Angus Council spokesperson said: “Report any suspicious activity to Police Scotland on 101, or 999 in an emergency – whether it is suspicious people calling at your door, or at a neighbour’s address, or any incidents where you feel you may have been caught out by a scammer. Don’t be embarrassed – reporting what you have experienced can help you and prevent others from falling victim to scammers.
“You can also report suspected scams and suspicious activity to Consumer Advice Scotland using the Quick Reporting Tool at www.scamwatch.scot or by calling 0808 164 6000, Monday to Friday, 9am-5pm.”
Housholders are being advised that if work does need to be carried out, they can use the Trusted Trader Scheme which lists local traders who have been vetted by trading standards and who have made a commitment to treat customers fairly.
The Police Scotland website also has lots of useful advice and information on staying safe from doorstep criminals as does the council’s Scam Free Angus page, which includes current scam warnings.