MORE people than ever are falling victim to criminal con-artists on their doorsteps – and now they are being urged to be on their guard when dealing with cold-callers.
Lancashire County Council’s Trading Standards department has revealed it has received 356 complaints about cold callers in the last 12 months – up from 340 in 2011 – and the authority has joined forces with police to raise awareness of scams.
County Coun Albert Atkinson, deputy leader of Lancashire County Council with responsibility for Trading Standards, said: “Tackling bogus traders is a top priority for Trading Standards and our number one piece of advice is simply never to do business with them.
“If a company uses pressure sales to try to get you to agree to have work done immediately, the alarm bells should start ringing.
“Reputable firms will not demand cash up front and will be happy to come back another day to give you time to think about it and get other quotes.”
During Rogue Trader Week, Age UK and Help Direct joined the fight by allowing Trading Standards to raise awareness among older people in the community, and local doctors surgeries are now displaying information warning about the dangers of bogus callers.
Areas on the Fylde coast which were hotspots for complaints also received leaflets through their front doors.
The county council’s Safe Trader scheme helps people find honest and reliable traders and can be contacted by visiting www.safetrader.org.uk