Police have issued a warning about “very persistent and aggressive” rogue traders who are operating across Peterborough.
The warning follows thefts of a wallet and purse from suspected rogue traders in Heron Court, Stanground, and Western Avenue, Dogsthorpe, which were reported to police last Saturday morning.
Following those incidents crime prevention officer Amanda Large has sent out the following message:
“Over the last few weeks across the city, especially in Stanground, the Ortons and Dogsthorpe, there have been a number of incidents where rogue traders have called at the address of a vulnerable victim asking to do some gardening work. Hedge trimming has been a regular theme. This usually follows a leaflet drop a few days earlier.
“Although they may appear genuine and trustworthy, often they are not and they can become very persistent and aggressive.
“Rogue traders use a range of techniques to encourage you to hand over your cash. Beware of people who say things like:
. I was passing and noticed your gutter and tiles are loose
. I don’t want to worry you, but there have been a lot of burglaries in the area recently
. This offer is only available today
. If you pay cash today I can give you a special discount
. I’ve been working at the house across the road or in the area.
“In the recent incidents the rogue trader has gained access into the house whilst the victim has been getting the money to pay for the services and they have stolen purse, wallet, cash and bank cards. Please do not buy services from cold callers to your door, and do not let them into your home. Don’t be another victim.
“If you have agreed to work that you did not want or cannot afford, you may still be able to get out of the contract.
“If you buy something for more than £42 from a doorstep seller you have 14 days to change your mind and cancel the contract. You should be given notice of your right to cancel in writing: if this doesn’t happen then the trader probably can’t bind you to any agreement.
“Never sign something to waive you right to cancel.
“Once you have decided to cancel you must let the trader know within 14 days of signing that you are exercising this right. This should be done in writing and ideally by recorded delivery letter – keep a copy of the letter that you send as proof of cancellation.
“Report any doorstep incidents. If you feel afraid or threatened call the police on 999. For non-urgent calls 101 or call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.”