Salford sends rogue trader warning

Salford residents are being warned to be on their guard against rogue traders knocking on doors in the city.

Salford Trading Standards have been alerted to a number of reports recently where residents have been targeted by rogue traders offering building and roofing work, which has not been delivered or has been done to a poor standard, and in some instances, for extortionate amounts of money, and with no written contracts in place.

Trading Standards consider all cases received and have a number of ongoing criminal investigations.

Rogue traders will often call uninvited and pressure residents into agreeing to go ahead with work at short notice. The work they provide is often grossly overpriced and very poor quality. They often use pressure tactics to extract additional payments.

They often target vulnerable individuals, the elderly, and those who may be less familiar with the home improvement process, leaving them financially exploited and often with unsafe and unsatisfactory work completed.

Lead Member for Environment, Neighbourhoods, Sports and Leisure, Councillor Barbara Bentham said: "These deceptive practices are deeply concerning. To protect our community, we are actively pursuing these culprits. Salford City Council has a proven track record of successfully prosecuting rogue traders and will make every effort to hold them accountable.

"Following steps, such as not contracting with a stranger who knocks on your door, getting three quotes, checking reviews, and avoiding payments up front for a job in cash, will help keep you safe.”

Below are some tips from Trading Standards to help people avoid falling victim to these scammers:

  • Do your research: Always research the background and reputation of a trader or builder before engaging their services. Check for reviews, testimonials, and online presence to gauge their credibility.
  • Get multiple quotes: always get quotes from at least three different traders to make a fair comparison of pricing and scope of work.
  • Ask for references: Request references from previous clients and follow up on them to gather honest feedback about the quality of their work and professionalism.
  • Ask for written agreements: Insist on a written contract outlining the business details, terms, costs, and timeframe for the project to ensure clarity and accountability.
  • Avoid cash payments: Don’t make cash payments upfront and use a secure payment method that allows for traceability.
  • Trust your instincts: If something feels too good to be true or if a trader exerts undue pressure on you to make quick decisions, step back and reassess the situation.

Councillor Bentham continued: “I’d urge everyone to be on their guard and take precautions when hiring tradespeople for home projects. Please keep a watchful eye on elderly or vulnerable family, friends and neighbours so scammers can’t prey on them.”

To report a trader call the Citizens Advice consumer helpline on 0808 223 1133 – and if you have been conned, don’t be embarrassed to come forward. Your help could spare someone else.”

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Date published
Tuesday 19 September 2023

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