Neighbourhood Watch are asking for your assistance to help them catch rogue traders.
Do the following sound familiar?
‘The moss on your roof needs removing otherwise it will cause damage…’
‘You have some loose tiles on your roof that are causing a leak and they need repairing…’
Typically, an individual or a group of people call at your door and offer to do work on your home or garden that will be either unnecessary or vastly over-priced such as repairing tiles on your roof or removing a ‘dangerous’ tree from your front garden.
Although it is usually an individual or group of men 25-40 years old, women or children can also be involved, all of whom will be smartly or casually dressed. Offences are more likely to take place on weekdays, either late morning (11am-1pm) or late evening (8-9pm), they may wear gloves, or cover their hands with clothing.
By taking simple preventative measures you can reduce the risk of becoming a victim.
- Check the identity of the caller:
- Ask for ID card before allowing them into your home
- Call the company they claim to be from. (only use telephone numbers listed in your local directory or provided independently by your service provider as any telephone numbers provided by the caller may be bogus)
- Ask the caller to leave information about their service so you can study it at your leisure
- Call the police on 999 if you ask any visitors to leave and they refuse
- Call the police straight away on 101 if you suspect a bogus caller has visited you, even if you didn’t speak to them or let them in
- Sign up to your utility service provider’s password scheme if they have one. This means that any legitimate employee must know and use the agreed password before they enter your home
- Have relevant passwords or hotline numbers handy so you can quickly and easily check the identity of callers
- Believe all callers are genuine – they are not
- Go to a bank or cash point with a trader, legitimate traders would never do this
- Believe special ‘today only’ type deals or scare stories. Don’t be pressured into agreeing to sign anything on the spot or have work carried out. Check with a relative or friend any work suggested, or you feel needs carrying out on your home, so that they can help you find a reputable trader
If you agree to pay £42 for any services or goods that are sold to you during a visit to your home:
- You have 14 days to cancel the agreement. Any money paid should then be returned to you
- The caller must give you a written cancellation form setting out your rights when you agree the contract. If not, then this is a criminal offence, and the agreement is not valid
Visit www.herts.police.uk/contact to report a non-emergency crime online or chat to a police operator live via web chat.