South Gloucestershire residents are being urged not to open the door to cold callers as rogue traders are operating in the area.
Avon and Somerset Police say offenders are ‘preying on people’s fears over loose tiles and other damage’ which may or may not be there.
Locals have been warned that legitimate traders generally do not seek work door-to-door and they should be wary of those who say they can start work straight away.
In a letter to residents of the district, Avon and Somerset Police are asking people ‘to be vigilant.’
They said: “The usual method of knocking on doors and asking if work needs doing is still happening and offenders will prey on people’s fears over loose tiles and other damage which may or may not be there.
“The message from us to deal with this ‘cold calling’ is to not open the door, if you are unsure do not engage.
“In this current climate there will be a number of people who have amassed savings for building work and are eager to get this underway, but you should be wary of traders who say they can start a roofing/building/landscaping job straight away or very soon.
“The message is that legitimate traders generally do not have to seek work door-to-door and will have full order books normally. You should always invest time in checking the legitimacy of a trader, like do they exist at the stated address. One of the best ways to assist in choosing are personal recommendations from friends.”
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Police say people should always get everything in writing before any work commences.
police added: “If the agreement is made at the customers home it is a criminal offence for them not to be given written notice of their 14 day cooling off rights (effectively, if the trader makes any verbal agreement they will commit a criminal offence.)
“If you are looking for a trader you may want to consider the Buy with Confidence scheme run by Trading Standards where vetted members can claim to be Trading Standards Approved.”
Anyone with concerns is urged to contact Trading Standards on 0808 223 1133, or police on 101 (non-emergency) or 999 (emergency.)