Storms bring out the rogue traders

Runcorn & Widnes Weekly News - - Front Page - BY OLIVER CLAY oliver.clay@trin­i­tymir­ror.com @Oliv­erClayRWWN

ROGUE traders are re­ported to be try­ing to ex­ploit the re­cent stormy weather in Run­corn and Widnes.

Hal­ton Trad­ing Stan­dards has warned that there has been a spike in the num­ber of com­plaints in the area over cold call­ers claim­ing work needs to be done to house­hold­ers’ prop­er­ties.

A spokesman for the unit said that cases have arisen when ini­tial mi­nor jobs such as gut­ter clear­ance of trim­ming branches spi­rals into claims that roof tiles are loose or ma­jor tree surgery is needed.

Costs soon es­ca­late from what might ap­pear to be a rea­son­able £30 for an hour’s work into hun­dreds and in some cases thou­sands of pounds.

At this point the trader may be­come more ag­gres­sive and will even in­sist on tak­ing the home­owner to the bank to with­draw the cash

Vul­ner­a­ble res­i­dents such as the el­derly are par­tic­u­larly at risk and neigh­bours, rel­a­tives and friends have been urged to be vig­i­lant.

Cllr Dave Cargill (Trad­ing ● Stan­dards) said: “Th­ese peo­ple have no morals and will quite hap­pily take money from any­one re­gard­less of their vul­ner­a­bil­ity.

“If you have any rea­son to sus­pect a caller, or if there are du­bi­ous look­ing males call­ing house to house in your road, then don’t hes­i­tate to call Trad­ing Stan­dards via the Cit­i­zens Ad­vice Con­sumer Helpline on 0345 404 0506.

“When you call try and pro­vide a de­scrip­tion of who has knocked, what they were sell­ing, any ve­hi­cle de­tails and busi­ness names they have used would be help­ful ● to us.

“If they’ve left a leaflet then put it to one side un­til we ar­rive.

“Also re­mem­ber, if you re­ceive a visit from a door step caller claim­ing to be from a rep­utable com­pany, en­ergy provider or the coun­cil, then ask to see their ID be­fore let­ting them in. If they can’t show their ID card, or you have any rea­son to sus­pect they are not who they say they are then refuse to let them in.

“If you are sus­pi­cious or are not ex­pect­ing a visit, con­tact the rep­utable com­pany and if they haven’t sent any­one out, re­port the in­ci­dent to Cheshire po­lice on 101.”

Hal­ton Bor­ough Coun­cil pro­vides ‘no cold call­ing’ cards and let­ter­box stick­ers free from any of Hal­ton’s Di­rect Link of­fices.

Any­one who has a card or sticker and a cold-caller knocks any­way should re­port it to Trad­ing Stan­dards by call­ing the Cit­i­zens Ad­vice Con­sumer Helpline on 0345 404 0506.

Vic­tims of fraud should call Hal­ton Trad­ing Stan­dards on 0151 511 8785 or 0151 511 8775.

The re­cent storms that bat­tered Run­corn and Widnes have seen a rise in the num­ber of traders claim­ing res­i­dents need re­pair work do­ing at their prop­er­ties

Cllr Dave Cargill, Trad­ing Stan­dards

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