Message from North Yorkshire Police:

With the risk of seasonal storms causing structural damage to properties, we are warning residents to be aware of cold callers.

We have seen an increased number of complaints in Ryedale and surrounding areas about cold callers and leaflets for traders being put through the door.

Wet and windy weather can see residents needing to make urgent repairs to their properties, which may lead to homeowners receiving cold-calls from bogus traders with offers to repair roofs, clear gutters and remove fallen trees.

Scammers are most likely to target elderly and vulnerable people and our advice is to always say no to cold callers.

Bogus traders will often point out a minor repair which, after they are let into the property, escalates into a list of jobs that may be overpriced, unnecessary and unsafe.

It is also an opportunity to sell insulation products which can be unsuitable for residents’ needs.

Many traders will be booked up, so the advice is to be wary of ‘traders’ who can arrive to start the work the following day and push for a quick agreement to use them.

Don’t agree to offers of building work, home repairs or maintenance that come from a cold call. Don’t be afraid to say no, don’t be pressured and check with others if the work is required and what is a fair price to pay. If it’s out of the blue, it’s not for you!”

‘Take Five’ – stop and take a moment and think, do I really need this work done? Obtain other quotes and seek advice, and recommendations for trades people from friends and relatives.

We would also encourage getting three quotes from different traders before you agree to any work being done.”

Here are some of our top tips to stay safe: 

�� If it is out of the blue, it’s not for you! Don’t agree to work from an unsolicited, cold call.
�� Be aware of ‘alarm bell’ tactics, claims such as – ‘I was working in the area and saw that your garden/roof needed urgent attention’; ‘we are working at one of your neighbours’ and we have some material left over’; ‘I can take you to the bank/cashpoint to get the money’.
�� Take five to stop fraud. Taking a moment to stop and think before parting with your money or information could keep you safe. Trust your instincts.
�� If you want some work undertaken, get a number of detailed quotes in writing, including full contact details and a detailed breakdown of exactly what work will be done.
�� Be cautious about any requests for large deposits. For larger work, agree when staged payments will be paid and what work should be completed before any money is handed over. Stick to what is agreed.
�� Ensure the trader has sent over contract of the total price before any work starts and information regarding statutory 14 days cancellation rights. The trader should never ask someone to sign these away.
�� Check with friends and family for trusted recommendations and consider a trading standards’ approved trader, from the Buy with Confidence scheme.

For more advice on consumer rights, or to report a rogue trader to trading standards, contact the Citizens Advice national consumer helpline on 0808 223 1133 or by visiting its website citizensadvice.org.uk.

If residents feel threatened or intimated by a cold caller, they should report it immediately to the police by calling 999. Non-urgent issues can be reported to the police via 101.

Cold Caller warning