Watchdogs issue alerts after spate of men cold calling at people’s homes

Norfolk Trading Standards have warned people to watch out for cold callers. Pic posed by models. Pho

Norfolk Trading Standards have warned people to watch out for cold callers. Pic posed by models. Photo:Antony Kelly - Credit: Evening News © 2007

Alerts have been issued after cold callers turned up at homes in and around Norwich to try to trick people into having work done on their homes.

Watchdogs at Norfolk Trading Standards said there had been reports this week in Sprowston, Hellesdon and in the Old Palace/Dereham Road area of Norwich.

The first occasion saw a man knock on the door of a home in Sprowston to say that he had “30 years roofing experience” and could see issues with the roof and chimney.

The householders say they were not interested and asked the cold caller to leave. The man was wearing some form of photo ID and returned to a beige car with ladders on the roof.

There have also been reports of three men cold calling at homes in the Hellesdon area, offering to do work on properties.

The men were using a white Ford Transit van, which had ladders on the roof.

The third incident saw two men cold called at a home in the Old Palace / Dereham Road area of Norwich.

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They said the property’s gutters “needed clearing and cleaning” and that they could “start work straight away”.

The householder said no and reported the incident.

Officers at Norfolk Trading Standards, which is based at Norfolk County Council, issued alerts and offered this advice to people who find themselves targeted by cold callers:

• Never deal with cold callers looking to undertake work on or around your home

• Never agree to have work done by somebody who is ‘just passing’ or take their word that it needs to be done at all

• Never allow a cold caller access to your home, roof or gardens, even if they are offering to do tasks for a small fee or free

• When looking to have work done on or around your property, only deal with reputable companies you have researched and chosen yourself. Obtain a written quotation before the work is started.

Trading Standards officers said that anybody who sees the cold callers should contact Trading Standards through the Citizens Advice consumer helpline on 0808 223 1133 or ring Norfolk Constabulary via 101.

And if people feel intimidated, or see these cold callers and are concerned for vulnerable neighbours, they should call 999.