Consumer: Stay on guard over door step traders

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West Yorkshire Trading Standards say they have seen an increase in the number of complaints about doorstep traders offering gardening and roofing work in Leeds.

In one incident, men knocked at a property in Stanningley advising they were working at her neighbour’s property and that her tree needed cutting down to which the householder agreed.

The men tried to get into the property on two occasions asking for water and to use the toilet.

The householder refused to let them in.

After chopping a few branches off the tree, the man asked for cash and took the householder to the bank to withdraw the money.

After obtaining the money, the men left the job, failing to complete the agreed work.

The householder later found out that the men had not been carrying out any work on her neighbour’s trees like they had claimed.

Trading Standards have said there have been similar incidents in the Calderdale area.

Men also cold-called at a house in the LS9 area of Leeds and charged a vast amount of money to carry out some painting work and to repair a wall.

They urged the householder to go to the bank to withdraw money.

West Yorkshire Trading Standards has told the Yorkshire Evening Post that it is continuing to conduct investigations to catch these scammers.

The watchdog is also reminding consumers not to deal with traders who call at their house offering to carry out any repair work.

David Lodge, head of West Yorkshire Trading Standards, said:“At West Yorkshire Trading Standards, we are striving to catch these scammers and bring them to justice, keeping them out of our communities where they are causing very real damage to residents’ lives. We would advise residents not to do business on the doorstep and, if you are worried about paying for home improvements, to use a vetted trader scheme.

“Please remember that there are many reputable traders out there who will deliver a quality service; it is the minority of fraudsters that Trading Standards officers are working hard to stamp out.”

Councillor Bill Urry, of the West Yorkshire Trading Standards Committee, said consumers need to be on their guard. He said: “I urge consumers to be on their guard against doorstep traders following this recent spate of complaints. Please also look out for doorstep traders targeting your elderly neighbours.

“If you are concerned please contact Citizens Advice Consumer Helpline on 03454 04 05 06.”