A warning has been sent out to Lancashire residents that conmen and bogus traders will be out following Storm Ciara and Storm Dennis.
With homes and vehicles being damaged during the high-winds and wild weather brought by the two storms, bad-intentioned traders will be targeting local residents.
They will prey on vulnerable householders’ concerns about the condition of their property and often undertake work that is unnecessary, unsafe and overpriced.
Trading Standards advice is to always say no to cold callers. People are urged to use the county council’s Safe Trader Scheme to find reputable traders to complete repair work.
County Councillor Albert Atkinson, cabinet member for technical services, rural affairs and waste, said, “It’s highly likely that rogue traders will be out and about following the storms this week.
“They’ll try every trick in the book and can charge a fortune for work that simply isn’t needed. They are most likely to cold call and target elderly and vulnerable people. Once you start speaking to them, they will often point out a fairly minor repair job.
“When you let them into your property, this will escalate into an expensive list of jobs that just aren’t needed.
“If you think work needs to be done because of storm damage, check with your insurance company first.
“If you need a trader, use our Safe Trader scheme, get quotes from two or three local businesses or ask friends and relatives to recommend a reputable business.
“We’d always advise you say no to cold callers and report anyone who is using pushy or aggressive sales tactics to us via the Citizen’s Advice Consumer Helpline.”
To find a trader on Lancashire County Council’s Safe Trader scheme call 0303 333 11 11 or visit www.safetrader.org.uk
Anyone concerned about bogus property repairers can call the Citizens Advice Consumer Helpline on 03454 04 05 06 for further advice.