Bogus caller crack-down launched in Milngavie and Bearsden

Patrols will be carried out to drive out to splat conman rats in Milngavie and Bearsden.

East Dunbartonshire Council’s Trading Standards Team and Police Scotland are working closely to crack down on bogus callers.

Regular joint patrols will be conducted in marked police vehicles where traders will be challenged to ensure they are genuine.

Not all doorstep callers are bogus, many are honest and genuine providing a valuable service.

However some are not and can be extremely persuasive and often use dubious techniques to clinch a sale.

Depute Leader of the Council and Convener of Housing and Community Services, Councillor Ashay Ghai, said: “Residents should try to engage the services of a trader that has been recommended, rather than that of a doorstep caller.

“The council’s Trading Standards Department is now working in close partnership with the Construction Licensing Executive (CLE) which provides a database of approved trades people.

“By selecting an approved trader, you will feel confident that you will receive a high standard of service at a reasonable price.”

“It is essential that you know what to look out for and what to do when a doorstep caller visits your home. Trading Standards have put together some useful tips that can help prevent you from falling victim to a bogus caller.”

People are advised to

1. Always ask to see the caller’s identification and examine it carefully.

2. Check that the work needs to be done. It may be difficult for you to check if the repairs are really needed, for example loose slates. Bogus callers hope to panic you into letting them do the work.

3. Ensure you obtain three separate quotes for any work you are considering and discuss the quotes with trusted family or friends.

4. Never sign a contract or agree to have work done until you are sure of the consequences. Ensure the trader has notified you in writing of your right to a seven day cooling off period

5. Find out about their previous work. Ask them what work they have carried out locally and try to talk to these people to establish if they were satisfied with the quality of work done.

6. Ensure that you get a receipt for any payments made and keep all documents relating to the work. Make sure you get the full details of the trader including name and address, without this you will find it difficult to take legal action in the event of a dispute.

7. Do not feel pressurised into getting work done, these people are not your friends and are being paid for being there. If you are feeling intimidated or pressurised please call Trading Standards.

8. Don’t agree to have work done by people who call at your home uninvited advising that they are in the area today/tomorrow only.

9. Do not accept any offer from the trader to give you a lift to the bank to withdraw money in order to pay him cash for work he has carried out.

10. Don’t be afraid to ask the sales person to leave.”

Inspector Donald Leitch, of Kirkintilloch Police, said: ”All of this seems a lot of information to take in, but it is good advice to protect yourself and your property against those who are intent on taking advantage of an open door or a trusting nature. One crime of this nature is one too many and often the victims are the most vulnerable in the community. We would urge anyone with information on those carrying out this kind of crime or who sees anything suspicious to report it to the Police as soon as possible.”

If you have any concerns regarding anyone working on your home or concerns about any trader you see operating in the East Dunbartonshire area please call the Trading Standards Department on 0141 578 8813.