Last year over 750k was paid to rogue doorstep traders by vulnerable Moray residents.
These traders often use misleading or intimidating practices to obtain large amounts of money from Moray’s most vulnerable consumers, particularly the elderly.
Without fail, Moray Council Trading Standards witnesses a sharp increase in complaints about dodgy doorstep traders at this time of year, offering services such as roof repairs, driveways, patios or garden clearance.
New services now offered include renewable energy systems such as biomass heating and solar panel installations.
Common complaints include poor quality of work, a low initial price which goes up significantly because of ‘extra work’ needed or offering massive savings on utility bills which never materialise.
In 2017 alone, it was estimated that Moray consumers paid over £750,000 to doorstep traders.
Over the past five years, Moray Council Trading Standards have conducted investigations into doorstep crime resulting in a number being dealt with by the courts.
A joint investigation with Police Scotland resulted in a tradesman being ordered by the Court to pay £30,000 back to Moray consumers after carrying out sub-standard and grossly overpriced repairs on their property.
Peter Adamson, Moray Council Trading Standards manager said: “Our advice is never to agree to work from the doorstep. Doorstep sellers are experienced in pressure sales techniques and they can be very persuasive. Your best protection is to say ‘No thank you’ and close the door.
“If you think that work is needed to your property, get quotes from two or three traders and compare them. Many instances of doorstep crime remain unreported because victims are embarrassed, they don’t know who to report it to, or they do not even realise they have been the victim of a crime.
“Police Scotland and Trading Standards rely on information from the public to help identify these rogues. Every bit of information on problem traders helps us prevent people being ripped off. If you have problems with doorstep traders or have any other concerns about them, please contact us.”
Trading Standards can be contacted on 0300 123 4561.
Police Scotland can be contacted on 101, or you can contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111
Famous for its colony of dolphins, fabulous beaches and more malt whisky distilleries than any where else in Scotland, Moray is a thriving area and a great place to live. Nestling between Aberdeenshire and the Highlands, Moray stretches from Tomintoul in the south to the shores of the Moray Firth, from Keith in the east to Brodie Castle in the west.