Beware of rogue traders operating locally and never feel pressured to have work done, warn Ely Police

Ely Police have warned people to be on their guard against rogue traders.

Ely Police have warned people to be on their guard against rogue traders. - Credit: Archant

Ely Police have urged people to be on their guard against rogue traders after victims lost “significant amounts of money as a result of this despicable crime type.”

Sue Loaker, crime reduction officer at Ely Police Station, said simple precautions could help prevent people falling victim.

Advice includes:

• Use a door chain when answering to unknown and unexpected callers – only release once you are sure the caller is genuine.

• Ring the company they claim to be from. Never ring the number the caller gives to you, either look it up or call directory enquiries.

• If someone claims to be from a utility supplier their contact number will be on a bill.

• Call a neighbour for support – a legitimate caller will wait, Don’t feel pressured to rush.

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• Never buy from your doorstop.

• Keep doors locked, even when you are at home.

• Don’t store large amounts of cash at home.

• If you need a genuine trades person

• In an emergency call 999.

Ms Loaker said: “Rogue Traders often claim to be in the area and just happen to have passed your property and noticed that they could repair your roof/ cut back shrubbery or chop down trees/ gravel your driveway/ re-point your chimney.

“A price will be quoted before work commences, once completed the traders will over inflate their price in return for poor quality work.

“The traders can be intimidating and in some cases threatening, they will take you to the bank if you haven’t enough cash in the house.

“If this happens, advise the cashier, they will assist. We continue to receive reports of callers claiming to work for Anglian Water, even if they appear genuine and has the logo on clothing call 0800 145145 to check they are genuine. If you think you have fallen victim of a rogue trading incident we want to know about it,” she said.

A spokesman for Safe Local Trades website said: “Victims are often vulnerable, elderly and/or isolated people who know nothing of these scams and so are trusting of anyone who is friendly or seems knowledgeable and genuine.

“After they have become a victim, they often feel ashamed and / or scared and so don’t tell anyone. This not only means the original scam goes unreported but it also makes it easy for the rogue trader to return for more.

“The stress of the victim’s shame or fear may also go on to cause physical or mental health problems.”