TIM DREW: Scammers targeting vulnerable households

Tim Drew
Tim Drew

This month is Scam Awareness Month, and Sussex Police have reported that properties in the Goring area have been selectively targeted with a view to selling property repairs, maintenance and improvements, with older or more vulnerable householders targeted in particular.

Many traders who call at the door are genuine (selling at the door is not illegal in itself) but, unfortunately, some are certainly not, and are just as persuasive as they are unscrupulous.

They may call at your home unannounced, offering expensive repairs to be carried out on your property and then charge extortionate sums for very poor quality work.

Often, they may try to rush you into making a hasty decision.

The best thing to do is to tell them point blank that you will only deal with traders who are members of organisations such as Checkatrade or West Sussex County Council’s Buy with Confidence scheme.

If they claim to be such, ask them for their card and check the contact information shown against that on the approved organisation websites or, if you do not have internet facilities, ask a trusted neighbour or relative to do this for you – but, in any event, it is advisable to obtain at least three written quotes to guard against excessive charging, especially if the job is a big one.

Don’t forget the door sticker warning off uninvited traders which is produced by Sussex Police and the three Sussex councils and which you can obtain at your local police station. Failure to leave and not return is a criminal offence under the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008.

Meanwhile, Neighbourhood Watch and the Safer Communities Partnership were present over all three days of the Street Velodrome event with many bicycles security marked and hi-vis rucksack covers distributed.

The Selden Ward Neighbourhood Panel will meet on Tuesday (July 19) at the East Worthing Community Centre in Pages Lane at 6.30pm.

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