West Mercia Police officers in Leominster have issued an alert to residents following reports of rogue traders calling at properties in the area over recent days.

A spokesperson for West Mercia Police (Leominster Cops) said:

“Over the last week we have seen a number of reports in regards to cold calling rogue traders in and around our patch. 

“Rogue traders prey on our need to get those niggly jobs around the house/garden done that we think are too small a job for large company to carry out. Or they may be jobs that we are unable to do ourselves due to lack of knowledge/tools or physically unable to carry out the task. 

“They sometimes turn up at the door as cold callers offering a competitive price and seem to know exactly what they are talking about. 

“This is where they do their best selling technique and basically promise the earth. At this point, they may ask you to pay them some money up front, so that that ‘they don’t have to disturb you again’. 

“Money is exchanged (normally they like to deal with cash as its untraceable and they will pressure people to actually go to the bank to get the cash). 

“After the cash is exchanged, this may well be the last time you see them ….although if you are lucky, they might actually carry out half of the job! 

“They may then try and pressure you into having more work done (which is normally not needed) at a further cost to yourselves. 

“It is likely that there will be no paperwork to accompany this work. 

“The advice is: Do not deal with cold callers for any reason, not even if they carried out works nearby. If you need jobs doing, then do your research, ask friends for recommendations but get one or more quotes so you have an idea of costs. 

“Reputable companies should also give you a cooling off period, so if you change your mind you can cancel the contract before works begins. 

“if you are unsure about tradespeople and the work they have carried out, you can contact the Citizens Advice Consumer Service or Trading Standards. 

“You should report a business to Trading Standards if they sold you something:

  • unsafe or dangerous, like an electronic appliance with faulty wiring or food past its use-by date
  • fake
  • not as described – for example, you bought a package holiday but something advertised wasn’t included
  • you didn’t want to buy – for example, they put pressure on you

You can also tell them about a business if:

  • they scammed you – for example, you paid for something online that you didn’t receive and you couldn’t contact the seller
  • they tried to stop you using your legal rights – for example, they said you can’t return faulty goods
  • they weren’t clear about the price or added on extra costs – for example, they advertised theatre ticket prices without booking fees
  • they sold products to people who looked underage without asking for ID – for example, alcohol, knives or fireworks
  • they didn’t carry out work properly – for example, kitchen fitters left your home in a dangerous state

As always if it looks too good to be true, then it probably is.