Lincolnshire Trading Standards and Lincolnshire Police have been working together to crack down on rogue trading in the county.
Operation Rogue Trader is a national campaign which ran from May 8 to 12, and is designed to coordinate the Country’s efforts in stamping out rogue trading and raising awareness of the issue.
Rogue traders con vulnerable people by overcharging, doing unnecessary work, damaging property deliberately and leaving work unfinished. They use intimidating behaviour in order to extort money like insisting on taking a customer to an ATM for payment.
Local Policing Inspector Phil Baker said, “Our job is to pursue those responsible for rogue trading and disrupt their activity. Operation Rogue Trader Week gives us a chance to really focus on and highlight this area but it is something that remains top priority for us throughout the year.
“Rogue traders can be incredibly convincing and draw people into believing they are legitimate, but they also make a point of targeting the most vulnerable members of our communities – people they believe they can trick or bully.
“There is evidence to link rogue trading to distraction burglary so it is important we educate people on the tactics they use so they can be on their guard.
“If residents have heard about the techniques they use, they are in a better position to protect themselves and their families and neighbours.”
Sally Gray, senior trading standards officer, said, “Tracking down and catching these rogue traders is an absolute priority for Lincolnshire County Council’s Trading Standards teams.
“The doorstep traders usually target the elderly and vulnerable, and use high pressure methods to persuade them to have work done.
“They often overcharge and provide misleading statements about the work they offer, leaving householders out of pocket and facing more bills to put problems right.
“Working with our partners, including Lincolnshire Police and HMRC, we are committed to working together to tackle this issue and will take appropriate enforcement action against those involved.”