Doorstep crime remains the top national priority for trading standards in Scotland. It is carried out by cruel, unscrupulous and organised criminal groups who deliberately prey on the most vulnerable in society, predominantly the elderly population. Doorstep criminals are mobile and often work cross border with many perpetrators being well known across different council areas. Winter can be a particularly opportunistic time for doorstep criminals with the bad weather which can damage property. Criminals draw on this to instil fear into their victims that if they donít sort out the damage now, it could cost much more in the future.
The joint Trading Standards Scotland and Police Scotland campaign launched today, Tuesday 25 February, and urges victims, potential victims and their families and friends to call their local trading standards service immediately if they have suspicions about someone who has come to their door.
As part of our campaign, we are recommending that consumers consider the following advice
ē Donít feel pressurised into agreeing to immediate work. Never listen to scare stories, beware of traders who suddenly appear after storms or floods and of claims that a low price is only available if you sign up right away.
ē Donít agree to buy from the first person who calls. Ask yourself if you really want these goods or services.
ē Donít pay cash up front. Never pay for work before it is completed and donít hand over large sums of money.
ē Do shop around if you decide you need work done. Get a minimum of three quotes from reputable traders and get recommendations from people you trust.
ē Do ask what your cancellation rights are. Remember for jobs costing over £35, traders are required to provide the consumer with a written notice informing them they have a seven day cooling off period during which they can change their mind and cancel the contract.
ē Do REPORT THEM! Donít ever feel embarrassed if you feel you have been the victim of doorstep crime. If you are in any way unsure about a caller at your door, contact Trading Standards or the Police immediately.
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