Local authorities and Police Scotland yesterday (Tuesday) joined forces to launch a new campaign designed to rid Scotland of the blight of rogue traders who prey on the elderly and the vulnerable.
Argyll and Bute Council’s Policy Lead for Protective Services, Councillor David Kinniburgh, said: ‘’ We fully endorse this campaign and are eager to work with our partners in Police Scotland to help tackle what is a significant problem. Whether you have been a victim of these con artists, or if you have suspicions, we would strongly encourage you to get in touch.
‘’Trading Standards would like to advise members of the public that should you be approached on the phone, or otherwise by anyone offering services, that there is no obligation to pay for any services before they have been carried out, and it is prudent to avoid up-front payments.’’
Speaking at the launch, Councillor Stephen Hagan, COSLA’s spokesman on the issue said: “For far too long, rogue traders have been targeting vulnerable residents, ripping them off for thousands of pounds, under the premise that they need unnecessary work carried out on their homes. This is totally illegal, completely immoral and we must not allow this to continue any longer.
“Doorstep crime remains the top national priority for Trading Standards in Scotland. It is carried out by cruel, unscrupulous and organised criminal groups who deliberately prey on the most vulnerable in society including the elderly. Doorstep criminals do not respect boundaries often working across different council areas – however the people that they target are usually the same wherever they operate.”
He concluded, “I warmly welcome this new campaign that was developed through close joint working between the Trading Standards Scotland Team, our local authority Trading Standards colleagues and Police Scotland and hope this encourages more victims to come forward. Remember, always report any suspicions you may have, you will never be wasting anyone’s time. Anyone can fall victim to a rogue trader and we need the help of all residents to stop this sickening crime.”