Say ‘no thanks’ and close the door - advice on cold callers

The campaign has been launched by Police Scotland
The campaign has been launched by Police Scotland

A national campaign to rase awareness about bogus callers and doorstep crime has been launched by Police Scotland.

Officers from Aberdeenshire and Moray Division, Police Scotland, will be working alongside Trading Standards to carry out prevention and enforcement action throughout the three week operation.

Information will be available for the public about their rights if they are cold called at home and people offer to carry out work on driveways, gardens, and guttering for example.

Officers from the Crime Reduction Unit will also be visiting vulnerable members of the community to give advice, including reminders to check the identity of sales people coming to the door and not to let people into your home.

Inspector Colin Mowat said: “We will be working closely with our partners, such as Trading Standards, throughout the campaign to provide advice to members of the public.

“We believe that incidents such as bogus callers are under-reported and so we are keen to raise awareness of this issue and the steps that can be taken if you are contacted by a bogus caller.”

Trading Standards receive a wide variety of complaints regarding rogue traders, these complaints range from fake charity collections to salesmen selling insulation, but by far the worst are those examples where rogue traders target older or more vulnerable householders with offers to fix non-existent home faults, repair driveways and so on.

Peter Adamson, Trading Standards Manager said “Our advice is never to agree to work on the doorstep. Just say ‘no thank you’ and close the door. If you think that work is needed to your house get quotes from two or three traders and compare them. Ask someone you can trust for a recommendation, or use a recognised trader approval scheme like the Construction Licensing Executive”.

These doorstep traders can be very persuasive, typically stating they are working in the area and claiming to have left over tar from another job, but an initial low price can escalate alarmingly. It is often impossible to trace them when problems arise.