Police and Trading Standards officials in Denbighshire are launching joint patrols in marked vehicles to clampdown on rogue traders committing doorstep crimes.
It comes after a number of reports in neighbouring areas of residents being approached to have their driveways or roofs cleaned to prevent the spread of coronavirus.
Cllr Mark Young, Denbighshire County Council’s Lead Member for Planning, Public Protection and Safer Communities, said “We are concerned that unscrupulous traders are trying to take advantage of people on their own doorstep. Unfortunately, there are people who prey on the vulnerability of others, don’t become a victim of these cowboy con men. If work needs doing then make your own appointments with reputable tradesmen – if you didn’t call them then don’t use them.
Genuine trades people will welcome you asking for references and identification, check them both carefully.”
Sgt Beth Jones of North Wales Police added “Officers from both North Wales Police and Denbighshire Trading Standards will be increasing their presence in the local area to identify and where necessary challenge such activity. To state that this type of work is needed to keep you safe is a nonsense and scaremongering. It is likely to lead to traders declaring other urgent work is needed and this type of criminality will not be tolerated.”
Denbighshire Trading Standards urge people to be on their guard and to follow these simple steps to avoid being caught out:
• Be cautious with anyone who turns up at your door without an appointment.
• Be cautious of any leaflets that you receive through the door offering such services.
• Ask for identification and get comprehensive contact details. A mobile telephone number is not good enough.
• Always make sure you get a written quote for any work to be carried out including written cancellation rights.
• Only pay after the work has been satisfactorily completed
• If in doubt, keep them out!
Anyone wanting advice on doorstep trading, or to report an incident, can contact the Citizens Advice consumer service on 0808 223 1133 (0808 223 1144 for Welsh language) which gives free, independent and impartial advice on all consumer issues, or the police on 101. Any person feeling intimidated or threatened by any doorstep seller should shut the door and call the police emergency number 999.