Trading Standards warning about bogus roofers

Aberdeen City Council is urging residents to beware of bogus workmen claiming to be carrying out warranty work for a roofing company.

Trading Standards officers have been made aware of two recent incidents concerning work undertaken following unsolicited visits from traders.

On one occasion the trader produced rotten wood after examining the outside of the roof and on the other, wet insulation was shown to the resident after access was gained to the roof space.

As a result, the residents were then persuaded to pay £2,200 and £4,700 respectively to cover the cost of repairs.

The work was unnecessary and the 'evidence' produced had either been taken into the roof by the trader or generated in the roof space by dipping insulation into a water tank.

These traders typically have no vehicle in the vicinity and carry no paperwork.

The traders are targeting houses which have had their roofs coated in the last few years.

Graeme Paton, Trading Standards Manager at Aberdeen City Council, said: "Residents should be wary of such cold callers and bear in mind it is their front door and they can ask the trader to leave at any time which, legally, the trader must do.

"Although we would warn against doing so, if work is agreed in the consumer's home following a cold call then the consumer should be provided with a written contract detailing exactly what work the trader is being contracted to carry out, along with the cost and a 14-day cancellation notice.

"Failing to give a notice of cancellation rights for contracts over £42 is an offence."

Sergeant Brian Cumming, from Police Scotland's Intervention Unit, said: "These rogue traders will often target the vulnerable members of our community and we ask for the public's assistance in tracing and preventing these incidents.

"Charities such as 'Care and Repair' provide a list of trusted traders and advice for people in Aberdeen requiring repair work. We'd urge members of the public to remain vigilant and not to hand over cash to workmen upfront, unless they are confirmed as genuine. A simple message is, 'if in doubt, keep them out'.

"Anyone with information or who may have the victim of a similar crime is asked to contact Police Scotland on 101 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 if you wish to remain anonymous."

Trading Standards officers are keen to hear from any resident that could have also fallen victim to this bogus trader and who may have further information that could assist their enquiries.

They also ask family members, friends and neighbours of anyone who has had roofing work done recently – within the last year – to make them aware of this issue

Residents should call the Citizens Advice Consumer Service National Advice line on 03454 04 05 06.