Fighting back against the doorstep scammers

Trading standards team manager Richard Webb, left, with Mark Eagle, of Eagle Plastering

Trading standards team manager Richard Webb, left, with Mark Eagle, of Eagle Plastering

First published in News Witney Gazette: Photograph of the Author by , Crime Reporter, also covering Barton and Wood Farm. Call me on (01865) 425427

A LIST of trustworthy traders is building up as figures show doorstep scams have reached a five-year high.

Oxfordshire County Council’s Trading Standards team have signed-up the 100th firm to its Buy with Confidence list of approved traders.

In December we revealed rogue traders were on track to trick £1m out of Oxfordshire residents by the end of the financial year.

By the end of February victims had lost £824,055 to rogue traders in 426 incidents since April last year, the highest since £923,224 in 2008/09.

Trading standards team manager Richard Webb, said: “Unfortunately there are a small minority of businesses who seek to dupe and con people, often the elderly and vulnerable, via shoddy work and vastly inflated prices, often through pressurised selling techniques, like cold-calling.

“Part of the reason Buy with Confidence was set up was to provide people with an approved list of traders so residents could feel confident in using those firms on it and also it deals a solid blow to those rogue traders who try and drum up business via deceitful and criminal methods.”

The list, which can be viewed online, was set up six years ago to provide householders with peace of mind when letting traders into their homes.

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Approved businesses are given a certificate and Buy with Confidence logo for business documentation and advertising.

Benson-firm Eagle Plastering & Home Improvements was the latest company to be approved last week.

Owner Mark Eagle said he applied for the accreditation so customers would know he ran an honest business.

The 50-year-old said: “People need to trust the tradesmen they allow into their homes.”

Mr Eagle, who employs four permanent staff in his business, added: “Buy with Confidence does weed out the bad companies who can come up from time to time as everybody on the list has been approved by Trading Standards, giving householders the knowledge that who they are dealing with are trustworthy.”

 

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