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National Consumer Week focuses on doorstep crime

3rd November 2014

We are supporting National Consumer Week 2014 - a campaign which focuses on preventing doorstep crime by encouraging neighbours, family, friends and carers to look out for those most at risk in their communities.

The theme of National Consumer Week 2014 is Good Neighbours Stop Rogue Traders. 

Despite vast underreporting of doorstep crime, latest research shows there could be as many as 170,000 incidents of doorstep crime each year. Doorstep criminals exploit vulnerable people by convincing them to pay for shoddy or incomplete repair work, charging extortionate fees for their services, or threatening residents who do not comply.

Our advice to protect against bogus tradesmen fraud

  • Always ask for identification before letting anyone you don't know into your house.
  • Check credentials, including a permanent business address and landline telephone number. The mobile phone numbers given on business cards are often pay-as-you-go numbers which are virtually impossible to trace.
  • Take control by asking the questions. Ask for references from previous customers or to see examples of their work.
  • Don’t sign on the spot – shop around. Get at least three written quotes to make sure you’re not being ripped off.
  • If in any doubt, ask the person to leave or call Citizens Advice on 03454 04 05 06.
  • If you’re suspicious, why not ask the salesman if you can take their photograph – on your mobile phone, for example? If the person is legitimate, they probably won’t mind.

The campaign is led by the Trading Standards Institute (TSI), Citizens Advice and the National Trading Standards Board.

Read more on the Trading Standards Institute website.

Please note: Action Fraud is not responsible for the content on external websites.

To report a fraud and receive a police crime reference number, call Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040 or use our online fraud reporting tool.