Two ar­rested af­ter blitz on scam­mers and rogue traders

Belfast Telegraph - - NEWS - BY STAFF RE­PORTER

peo­ple have been ar­rested in a crack­down on fake cold call­ers and other scams.

PSNI of­fi­cers de­tained the sus­pects and con­ducted more than 180 check­points, seiz­ing nine ve­hi­cles dur­ing the tar­geted op­er­a­tion on Thurs­day that also in­volved the Garda, HMRC and Trad­ing Stan­dards.

PSNI Chief Supt Si­mon Walls said: “The op­er­a­tion in­volved tar­geted ve­hi­cle check­points and proac­tive pa­trols in known cold caller ar­eas as well as a num­ber of lo­cal en­gage­ment op­por­tu­ni­ties to share ad­vice and in­for­ma­tion around scams.

“While it should be noted that not all cold call­ers are rogue traders, it is our in­ten­tion that this, and fu­ture op­er­a­tions, will help put a stop to those un­of­fi­cial traders who over­charge for poor qual­ity work or work that is never com­pleted at all.”

Chief Supt Walls said that the op­er­a­tion was also aimed at rais­ing aware­ness around the var­i­ous scams used by fraud­sters to take money from un­sus­pect­ing

mem­bers of the pub­lic. He said: “We were de­lighted to have the sup­port from our col­leagues in HMRC and Trad­ing Stan­dards Ser­vice to help share the mes­sage.

“We all need to be vig­i­lant of any con­tact from an un­so­licited source, whether that is from doorstep call­ers, tele­phone, mail or on­line and ed­u­ca­tion is our best weapon in pre­vent­ing peo­ple from be­com­ing vic­tims.”

Chief Trad­ing Stan­dards of­fi­cer Damien Doherty said: “Rogue traders and doorstep fraud­sters prey on the most vulTWO ner­a­ble in our so­ci­ety. They ex­ploit vul­ner­a­ble con­sumers by pro­vid­ing low qual­ity work or rec­om­mend­ing work that is un­nec­es­sary.

“At trad­ing stan­dards, we reg­u­larly re­ceive com­plaints from peo­ple who have be­come vic­tims of this type of crime.

“These vic­tims are mostly older peo­ple and we send a clear mes­sage to doorstep crim­i­nals that we will al­ways treat these com­plaints as pri­or­ity.

“How­ever, it is also cru­cial to raise aware­ness of doorstep crime to safe­guard po­ten­tial vic­tims and we will con­tinue to work with our part­ners to do so.

“Con­sumers should al­ways take their time when de­cid­ing to get work done to their house. Don’t be afraid to say that you don’t do busi­ness on the doorstep.”

HMRC said that it was one of the most phished brands in the world, due to the strong rea­son for cus­tomer con­tact.

“Scam­mers con­tact mem­bers of the pub­lic through cold calls, emails and text mes­sages, usu­ally claim­ing the in­di­vid­ual owes tax,” it said.

Op­er­a­tion: Supt Si­mon Walls

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