Be on the lookout for rogue traders

MEMBERS of the Angus community are warned to be wary of rogue traders calling at their door.

“With winter approaching, homeowners look at the condition of their properties and sometime accept rogue businesses who cold call at their doors, offering to carry out gardening work, repairs or clean roofs or replace tarmac,” explains a Tayside Police spokesperson.

“At this time of year, the police normally see an increase in the number of complaints from homeowners about the poor quality of the work carried out or works not being completed.

“Rogue traders can use intimidating or aggressive practices, overcharge and give misleading statements about the work that they offer.

“This often leaves householders out of pocket facing more bills to put problems right.”

Common scams used by rogue businesses can include:-

Offering to replace a tile or slate on the roof but then saying that water is getting into the roof and needs replacing urgently.

Giving a cheap price to clear the garden but then charging much more for ‘extra’ work carried out.

Stating that they are working in the area and have a load of tarmac left over which will go off if it isn’t used.

Stating that they will replace rotten wooden soffits, fascia boards and guttering but using cheap plastic to cover the problem instead.

An incident occurred on Sunday past, in Brechin Road, Arbroath which again highlights the issue.

“Be very wary of anyone turning up on your doorstep offering to carry out work,” adds the police spokesperson..

“Ask yourself if you would trust important and potentially expensive work to someone you have never heard of, and may never see again.”

Responsible traders will know the rules and will supply the correct paperwork before starting any work. This includes, in many cases, a right for a consumer to cancel work in a short period of time.

The spokesperson continued: “I would ask people to be vigilant and look out for elderly and vulnerable members in the community being targeted by rogue traders.”

Tayside Police urge householders to heed the following crime prevention advice: “Don’t agree to any work on the basis of a verbal quote.”

“If you need work done, obtain written quotes from a number of reputable companies. Whatever you do, don’t agree to be taken down to the bank by these bogus workmen to withdraw money. If you feel intimidated by a caller, close the door and call the police.”

“Warn any elderly neighbours and relatives about the risks of these people, and if possible notify your local community police officer if you suspect they are operating in your area.”