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Sunday, January 20, 2019

Cold callers targeting elderly residents in east Belfast

Cold callers have been targeting elderly residents in the Orby Grove area of East Belfast.

The callers have been offering to carry out repairs or undertake work on a home, driveway or garden.

Police have said the rogue traders are often charging inflated prices for shoddy or unnecessary work.

They say Trading Standards do not recommend employing cold callers for property maintenance and repairs to the home.

Police have outlined advice from Trading Standards for those who are approached by a handyman on their doorstep offering to do work:

1.) You should not feel pressurised into agreeing to immediate work.

2.) Never listen to scare stories and beware of traders who suddenly appear with claims that a low price is only available if you agree to the work right away.

3.) Ask yourself if you really want or need the goods or services being offered.

4.) Never pay for work before it is completed to your satisfaction and don’t hand over large sums of money even if you’re told it’s to purchase materials.

5.) It is recommended that you get a minimum of three quotes from reputable traders or recommendations from people you trust.

6.) If a job is over £42, traders are required to provide you with a written notice informing them that they have a 14 day cooling off period during which they can change their mind and cancel the contract.

7.) Don’t be fooled by glossy flyers and booklets showing ‘before and after’ pictures. Ask yourself if you think the work was actually carried out by the individual on your doorstep or if they have just copied the images from another legitimate trader.

And finally…

8.) Do report them! If a you feel you or someone you know have been a victim of doorstep crime, contact police or Trading Standards immediately.


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