Householders are being warned to refuse doorstep approaches from builders offering to ‘help’ following the storm on Monday.
West Sussex Trading Standards Officers have told residents never to accept an offer from anyone who comes knocking and wants to do work on the property.
A number of trees were uprooted during the storm, so householders are advised to be on their guard against all cold callers – especially anyone claiming to be a tree surgeon or roofer.
Lionel Barnard, West Sussex County Council Cabinet Member for residents services, said: “There are countless scams that the unwary could fall for, and older people often make easy prey,
“Your property doesn’t even need to be damaged – cowboy roofers, for example, can pretend they’ve seen a loose tile, and offer to fix it for a few pounds. When they come down from the roof, it’s often with the shock ‘news’ that repairs will cost thousands.”
Other tricks include pressuring householders into doing unnecessary work, hiding the cost, or providing false names and addresses.
Anyone who has a problem with a doorstep caller should contact the Citizens Advice Consumer Service on 08454 040506.
To find a reliable and trustworthy trader use the Buy with Confidence Scheme. This is a Business approval scheme administered and run by Trading Standards.
All members of BWC are vetted and approved by Trading Standards. Residents can visit the website at www.buywithconfidence.gov.uk to find a suitable trader.