East Dunbartonshire residents are warned to be on their guard from rogue traders after a rise in complaints about overpriced or substandard work.
The warning from East Dunbartonshire Council’s Trading Standards team and Police Scotland comes after a number of concerned people contacted them after being overcharged for gardening work or roof repairs.
The doorstep callers initially quoted the residents a low price for the work before increasing the amount substantially.
The works carried out have often been unnecessary, of poor quality and were not completed.
Councillor Billy Hendry, convener of the council’s Place, Neighbourhood & Corporate Assets Committee, said: “I would urge everyone to be wary about people who call at houses offering to do roofing, gardening or other work.
“If you are in any doubt as to the authenticity of the person then ask for details of the company they represent and speak to trusted friends o relatives about it.
“Although you may feel awkward, never be afraid to close the door on doorstep callers.
“If you have been scammed or think that someone is trying or has tried to scam you then get advice and report it to Trading Standards on 03001234510.
“The website www.approvedtrader.scot is an easy way to find a trader who has been approved by trading standards.
“The website draws together Scottish traders who are members of the Trusted Trader or Buy with Confidence schemes and is managed by the Society of Chief Officers of Trading Standards in Scotland.”
Chief Inspector Lorna Gibson, Local Area Commander, Police Scotland, added: “When it comes to doorstep crime, some people will do anything to part you from your cash.
“We advise people to always keep their front and back doors locked and not to open the door until you’ve checked through a viewer or window to see who is there.
“Use your door chain where possible and only let callers in if they have an appointment and you have confirmed they are genuine.
“Always ask the caller for ID and if you’re in any doubt then contact the police by calling 101.
“I’d also encourage residents to register for East Dunbartonshire Community Alerts.
“This allows people to keep up to date by email with the latest news – including reports of doorstep crime, scams, burglaries and more in East Dunbartonshire.”
To sign up for East Dunbartonshire Community Alerts, complete the online form by visiting www.neighbourhoodwatchscotland.co.uk/sign-up-for-alerts
If need support or advice, please call Trading Standards on 0300 123 4510 and they will assist you in registering.
Cllr Hendry added: “I am pleased we have been able to work with our colleagues in Police Scotland to develop East Dunbartonshire Community Alerts, which will help to keep residents safe.
“I hope people take the time to sign up and help keep themselves – and their community – safe.”
A police spokesperson added: “We enjoy a fantastic relationship with our Trading Standards officers, which has resulted in increased detections for bogus crime in our area.
“By signing up to East Dunbartonshire Community Alerts we can increase awareness for residents in real time when we become aware of ongoing incidents that impact the community, as well as alerting them to emerging crime trends relating to fraudulent schemes.”
For general advice on how to avoid becoming a victim of crime, visit www.scotland.police.uk/keep-safe and www.eastdunbarton.gov.uk/residents/trading-standards