Police warn of cold callers harassment

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“If in doubt - keep them out” is the message Constable Siobhan Pellett wants the Galloway community to think about after a spate of cold calls to a number of homes offering to carry out repairs and maintenance work.

Complaints included harassment and exerting undue influence to enter into agreements or contracts, inflating the final price after giving an earlier lower quote foe the work carried out and false claims about the services actually being provided.

Constable Pellet said: “Over the past week or so we have received a number of calls from the public about workmen cold calling on householders offering to carry out work, on everything from roof repairs to cleaning and pressure washing drives.

“In a number of cases the victims felt that they were being pressured into accepting work, and then receiving demands for inflated prices after an original price had been agreed.”

Police have been in touch with Trading Standards regarding these cases and have offered the following advice to householders when confronted by cold callers:

Do not feel pressurised into agreeing immediate work.

Never listen to scare stories and beware of traders who suddenly appear after storms, floods or even snow and avoid claims that a low price is only available if you sign up right away.

Do not agree to buy from the first person who calls.

Ask yourself if you really want these goods or services.

Do not pay cash up front. Never pay for work before it is completed and don’t hand over large sums of money.

Do shop around if you decide you need work done.

Get a minimum of three quotes from reputable traders.

Why not consider the council’s Trusted Trader Scheme - which is administered by the Trading Standards Department and can provide details of reliable local traders to carry out work around your home or garden. Details can be found at www.dumgal.gov.uk/trustedtrader

Do report them.

Don’t ever feel embarrassed if you feel you have been the victim of doorstep crime. If you feel threatened, unsafe or suspicious of a caller then contact police immediately on 999. If you see something suspicious in your area or want more advice on doorstep crime than contact police on 101, taking note of descriptions of people and vehicles used where possible.

You can also contact police anonymously through the Crimestoppers number on 0800 555 111.