Outwood pensioner targeted by rogue trader triggers warning to residents
Action Fraud said officers called Outwood the week an elderly man agreed to work being done on his home.
A small amount of work was done and was invoiced for £2,000. Luckily, he didn’t pay the full amount.
Action Fraud is now urging people NOT to get caught by dishonest traders.
They said, “You might want to do some work, but that’s not the right way to do it.
“A rogue trader may tow an area before making house calls and often offers roofing, gardening and DIY work.
“The work may be unnecessary, performed to poor standards and overpriced.”
West Yorkshire Police say the purpose of the door criminal is to try and force their way into your home.
“After all, if they can walk through your front door after receiving an invitation from you, why should they bother having to break into your property?”
Doors and windows locked?
Are you waiting for someone ?
Is their ID verified against your bill or directory number?
Say NO to cold calls. When in doubt… KEEP THEM OUT!
It’s best not to open the door to someone you don’t recognize.
Get three written quotes before choosing a tradesman.
Do not pay money in advance, especially cash.
Only pay for the job once it’s finished and you’re happy with the job.
Report problems with rogue traders to West Yorkshire Police online, by calling 101 or texting 07786 200 200 if you are deaf or hard of hearing. Call or text 999 if they are still at your doorstep.
Report issues with businesses to West Yorkshire Trading Standards via Citizens Advice online or by calling 0345 404 0506.
Consider using a trusted trader program or charity for work:
Age UK Calderdale & Kirklees Business Directory
Leeds Directory of Verified Traders
Royal British Legion Handy Van Service – Poppy Calls
The list is not exhaustive – other organizations are available that may offer the same services.
False callers / Burglary by distraction
These are people who try to break into your home to steal or extort money from you.
They often claim to be from a professional company such as your energy or water supplier. However, they may pretend they need help, are an old friend, are collecting for charity, or say they are investigating.
This type of criminal can work with an accomplice who sneaks around and searches your house for valuables while you are distracted.
You don’t have to let anyone into your home.
Check that other doors and windows are locked before opening the door so that no one else can sneak in.
Ask for ID through the mailbox and call the number on your bill or phonebook to verify the caller’s identity. Keep the door locked until you are happy to let them in.
You might find it handy to keep a list of useful phone numbers near the phone so you know exactly where the real business numbers are if needed.
Utilities may use a password system, contact your supplier for details.
Door-to-door salespersons / Cold calls
Some uninvited callers to your door may be persuasive salespeople offering deep discounts and limited-time offers. They may refuse to take “no” for an answer and use pushy tactics.
Do not buy from door-to-door sellers.
Know your rights as a consumer regarding “cooling-off periods”. Visit the Citizens Advice website for information and advice.
If cold calling is a problem in your area, you may want to consider setting up a cold calling control zone, operated by West Yorkshire Trading Standards.
Some companies may contact you by phone first to offer you an appointment at home.
Although less intrusive, this is still a cold call and you shouldn’t feel pressured into making a decision. It is recommended that you ask a family member or neighbor to be with you if you are arranging to meet someone over the phone.