Clamping down on bogus callers

Eagle-eyed residents are being urged to keep a lookout for any suspicious going-ons to help clamp down on fraudsters.

The call to take care of elderly and vulnerable neighbours and keep them safe from rogue doorstep traders came as part of National Consumer Week 2014.

The annual awareness event is running all this week (November 3-7).

With as many as 170,000 incidents of doorstep crime occurring nationally each year, the National Consumer Week 2014 ‘Good Neighbours Stop Rogue Traders’ campaign encourages neighbours, friends, families and carers to look out for rogue traders.

Rogue traders often cold call and offer to carry-out repairs which are poor quality, unnecessary and charged at extortionate prices, sometimes even driving the victim to the bank to withdraw money or threatening them.

Council leader Rhondda Geekie said: “Our Trading Standards team works extremely hard all year round, but National Consumer Week gives them the chance to highlight some of the ways in which they protect our residents, and in particular elderly and vulnerable people.”

The impact of doorstep crime reaches beyond financial loss - it can cause a person’s mental health to deteriorate and, in some cases, they may suffer physical harm.

The Good Neighbours Stop Rogue Traders campaign is a partnership between East Dunbartonshire Council, the Trading Standards Institute (TSI), Citizens Advice and the National Trading Standards Board.

East Dunbartonshire’s Trading Standards team will be holding events during National Consumer Week, to raise awareness of the risks and tell people what to look out for.

On Wednesday, November 5, from 10am to 4.30pm they will be at the B & Q Warehouse, Strathkelvin Retail Park, Bishopbriggs.

Then, on Friday, November 7, from 10am to 4.30pm, they’ll be at the Kirkintilloch Hub, West High Street, Kirkintilloch.

Councillor Geekie added: “I hope people make the most of this great opportunity for people to speak directly to the experts about how they can keep themselves, their family and neighbours safe from the scourge of rogue traders.”

TSI chief executive Leon Livermore, said: “This campaign gives power back to communities that have been blighted by rogue traders and prevents those most at risk from becoming victims of doorstep crime.

“While trading standards officers strive to track down and prosecute rogue traders, community intervention is the first step in preventing doorstep crime. This campaign highlights the impact community-spirit and the goodness of neighbours, friends and relatives can have in making Britain a safer place.”