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12 October 2021

Operation Rogue Trader encourages communities to avoid cold-callers

Trading Standards Officers from Cumbria County Council and joined forces with Cumbria Police on Thursday 7 October, as part of North West National Rogue Trader Day - aimed at tackling rogue practices and raising awareness of the dangers linked to engaging with cold-callers who knock on doors.

Officers were on patrol in Carlisle, Barrow and Workington - areas where rogue traders have previously targeted vulnerable residents - talking to local businesses, carrying out checks on vehicles and confirming that any accreditation claims were genuine.

A large number of businesses were approached and advised about general selling practices and the law in relation to contracts for work made in the home. Whilst most were found to be compliant, 11 businesses were unaware of statutory cancellation notices that are required to be given to consumers in a written format, requiring a 14-day cooling off period when agreeing for work to be carried out.

Cumbrian Trading Standards also took this opportunity to reinforce previous messages to communities to use extreme caution when approached by cold callers offering to carry out house repairs or gardening work. With Covid lockdown restrictions easing, Cumbrian residents may be more susceptible to cold callers offering to carry out work, with increased demand for home improvement works, it’s vital to warn people about the consequences of dealing with rogue doorstep traders.

These types of callers often use persuasive tactics to get people to agree to having work carried out that is often not needed or worthless and then charge exorbitant amounts of money.

Councillor Celia Tibble, Cumbria County Council's Cabinet Member for Trading Standards, said:

 

“It’s crucial to raise awareness of doorstep crime and help prevent innocent people from falling victim to these criminals. This day of action provides a platform to educate traders and deter doorstep crime in our communities.

 

“Rogue traders, doorstep fraudsters and scammers prey on the most vulnerable in society. Working closely with the police and other agencies means we can intervene sooner and safeguard potential victims.”

 

The message from Cumbria Trading Standards is to say no to cold callers, use known, local trades people and discuss home improvements with your family.  

If you suspect someone of being a rogue trader or find yourself accosted by uninvited doorstep sellers, contact the Citizens Advice Consumer Helpline on 0808 223 1133.


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Trading Standards Officers from Cumbria County Council and joined forces with Cumbria Police on Thursday 7 October, as part of North West National Rogue Trader Day - aimed at tackling rogue practices and raising awareness of the dangers linked to engaging with cold-callers who knock on doors.