Don't fall victim to unscrupulous traders

Kent Police are asking for help from the public as they continue their fight against rogue traders. Unscrupulous criminals are taking advantage of vulnerable residents and conning them into handing over their savings, on the promise of completing work that is often not even needed. The police want the public to be aware and report anything suspicious. Rogue traders usually come to the door with no prior appointment and sometimes in pairs. They have been known to pose as contractors when most have absolutely no qualifications at all which is both dishonest and dangerous.

Some have imitated officials from the council, water board, and members of the emergency services. They will use any excuse just to get over your threshold and persuade you to part with your money. Another tactic is to try and distract you whilst they burgle your property.

Police have issued the following guidelines for dealing with cold calls and bogus traders.

If your property needs maintenance, use caution and make sure you get at least three quotes in writing from different companies. This will ensure you are not being grossly over charged.

When answering the door make sure that the chain is across and use your spy hole if you have one to check on your visitor Keep your doors and windows locked whilst you are at the door or alone in your home.

Don’t worry about leaving the caller on the doorstep with the door closed whilst you check their details. A genuine person won’t mind you checking..

Check the phonebook or online to make sure the business they represent is legitimate but don’t use the number provided by the caller. Ask the company if they know the person standing at your door.

Do not pay for any work until after the job has been completed to your satisfaction.

If you are given any kind of card or leaflet, keep it and pass it to the police for information. Be sure to make a note of the person’s vehicle details.

If you are in doubt about a caller, ask them to call back at a time when you are not alone.

If you suspect that someone has attempted trick you into parting with your money, contact the police by calling 101, or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

Get in touch