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Warning after rogue traders target elderly in Thorpe St Andrew and Rackheath

PUBLISHED: 09:40 04 December 2017 | UPDATED: 09:40 04 December 2017

A warning has been issued by police after suspected rogue traders operating in Thorpe and Rackheath, Norwich. PIC: DENISE BRADLEY

A warning has been issued by police after suspected rogue traders operating in Thorpe and Rackheath, Norwich. PIC: DENISE BRADLEY

Archant

Rogue traders have been targeting elderly and vulnerable people living in Thorpe St Andrew and Rackheath.

Police are warning people to be vigilant after they received reports of people cold calling at addresses and offering to carry out garden clearance work.

The suspects have been targeting elderly and vulnerable residents and charging excessive fees for the sub-standard work.

PCSO Paul McAllister said: “Remember that you do not have to open your door to cold callers.

“Close and lock your back door before answering the front door. If you do not recognise the person, speak through the closed and locked door.

“If they are selling something or offering to do any work on your house or garden, tell them you are not interested and ask them to leave. If they persist tell them you will call the police and call us on 999. If you have any doubt – keep them out.”

Norfolk County Council’s Trading Standards say that residents should never agree to buy goods from, or have work done, by someone that calls unannounced at their door, or approaches them on the street.

Rogue traders often do not provide full names, trading addresses or contact telephone numbers, resulting in it being virtually impossible to trace them if there are any problems with the work or goods.

To avoid becoming a victim of rogue traders, follow a number of simple steps, including:

• Lock your back door before answering the front door.

• Never agree to have work done by somebody who has knocked on your door.

• Use a spy hole, chain or window to have a look at the caller before answering the door and keep the chain on. If you do not recognise the caller then speak through the closed and locked door.

• Always ask for proof of identity. Take it from the person (through the letterbox) and read it carefully before deciding what to do.

• Never use a phone number provided by the caller as it could be a false number to an accomplice.

Anyone feeling threatened by a cold caller should call 999 immediately.

Anyone with information about suspected rogue traders should contact police on 101 or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

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