Slough Borough Council’s trading standards team is warning residents about a worrying rise in incidents of doorstep crime and rogue trading in the area.
The incidents involve criminals who have taken advantage of local householders by using high pressure sales techniques.
Trading standards have received two complaints in the last week alone, where vulnerable residents have been targeted by door step traders. The traders cold called both residents who handed over nearly £20,000 between them.
Residents should always be cautious of any cold callers and never sign or get into a contract with traders who haven’t visited them.
Traders who carry out work in people’s homes should always issue their customers with a 14 day cancellation notice.
Andy Clooney, trading standards manager, said: “Trading standards will be patrolling the borough on the look out for any suspicious activity and will be approaching any tradespersons they might have concerns about.
“We will use all our resources to rid the borough of these unscrupulous traders and will work closely with partners such as the police in doing so. I’d ask all residents to be vigilant and ask neighbours of vulnerable people to keep a look out for any unusual activity. If you have any concerns, please report it.”
Councillor Pavitar K Mann, cabinet member for regulation and consumer protection, said: “Rogue traders can have a devastating impact on lives.
“It often goes far beyond a bit of dodgy dealing - these are organised crime groups who go out touting for work, intimidating elderly or vulnerable people and charging obscene amounts of money for simple household jobs, like roofing repairs or laying driveways.
“These are criminals who masquerade as legitimate traders in order to target vulnerable people. This is a particularly despicable crime and I urge residents to be on the lookout.”
To report a rogue trader call Slough trading standards on 01753 875255 or Thames Valley Police on 101. In an emergency always dial 999.