Residents are being encouraged to ensure they use reputable trades people and check for identification before progressing with any works to be undertaken at their home.
Knowsley Council’s Trading Standards team have issued a warning following a report of bogus callers operating in properties in the Shaw Lane / Kingsway area of Prescot claiming to be carrying out tree root work for the council.
Bogus callers have vans, uniforms and may leaflet an area before making cold calls to your home. Published freephone numbers divert to their mobile phones and should always be checked for their authenticity.
There are a few simple steps you can take:
- Never agree to have work done by any cold caller regardless of what they say. No reputable trader ever approaches a customer in this way.
- If you do answer a cold call, never let them in your home and don’t feel pressured into making a decision on your doorstep.
- Never use a phone number provided by the caller as it could be a false number to an accomplice.
- Never pay money up front. Always agree a final price in writing and get an invoice and receipt as proof of payment.
- If you’re having work done, only pay for work once it has been completed and you’re satisfied.
- Never accept any offer to drive you to the bank to withdraw money or give them your bank details.
- If you think your home or garden needs work, please use a recommendation from friends / neighbours or use a trader approved scheme.
- Never put your job on social media or on internet sites – rogue traders also use these platforms.
- You should also obtain three quotes to check if the price is competitive and if the work really needs doing – never rely on the word of a single trader.
- Keep a look-out for people acting suspiciously in your area and keep an eye on any vulnerable neighbours.
If you see anything suspicious, call Merseyside Police on 101.
Help and advice is also available through the Citizens Advice Consumer helpline on 0808 223 1133.