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Your doorstep, your decision

19th July 2010

A new campaign is warning against bogus doorstep traders, as research reveals that almost three million people have fallen victim to the rogue traders.

Although people of all ages were found to have become victims of bogus doorstep traders, losing an average of £600, older people were hit the hardest with people over the age of 55 losing an average of nearly £1,100.

Cold callers

The Office of Fair Trading’s ‘Your doorstep, your decision’ campaign aims to make people think twice about agreeing to attractive prices for work offered by cold callers. While canvassing on the doorstep is not illegal and there are many legitimate businesses selling to people in the home, rogue doorstep trading is an ongoing problem.

Typically, rogue traders will try to find common ground with a homeowner and use deceptive and misleading claims. Some may falsely claim to be endorsed by a trade association or a local council. Victims may also be made to feel that there is a great sense of urgency in the offer, and if they don’t sign up, they’ll miss out.

Stay in control on your doorstep

The Office of Fair Trading is offering some advice to help people when confronted with cold callers:

  • always remember that it's your doorstep, so your decision
  • be wary of special offers or warnings about your home
  • don't hand over a cash deposit
  • don't agree to a trader starting any work straight away  
  • take time to consult with someone you trust for a second opinion, speak to friends, family or neighbours before making any decision
  • if in doubt, contact Consumer Direct or your local authority Trading Standards Service for advice. 

For more information about ‘Your doorstep, your decision’, visit the Office of Fair Trading’s website.

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

To report a fraud, call Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040 or use our online fraud reporting tool.

See also:
Bogus tradesmen fraud
Advance fee fraud
Counterfeit goods fraud