Published: Monday, 03rd June 2019

Oldham residents are being warned about bogus doorstep callers who are offering a range of gardening services.

This comes after Trading Standards received reports from residents living in Royton, Chadderton, Shaw, Delph and Springhead, of approaches being made to carry out tasks such as garden works, tree felling, paving and jet washing.

Often these doorstep callers have targeted areas with flyers that offer ‘discounts for OAPs’, but the flyer contains no contact details relating to the business other than a phone number.

Residents who have fallen victim to this scam have reported that within a short time of the work starting, cash has been demanded up front – often more than the value agreed. In some cases the work hasn’t even been completed or is of a poor standard.

When a trader usually offers to carry out work at a resident’s home, the consumer is normally entitled to a 14-day cancellation period and the trader is required to give a written notice of these cancellation rights which gives full details of their business name, address and identity. In these cases, no notice has been given.

Councillor Ateeque Ur-Rehman, Cabinet Member for Neighbourhoods Services, said: “We take doorstep crimes very seriously in Oldham. 

“These crimes not only affect people’s pockets, they can also have other significant consequences. That is why we must all do our bit to report these scams to avoid further residents falling victim to such crimes.

“If you have been approached by these people, we advise you to say ‘no’ and not to be pressurised by their persuasive sales techniques. There is a high risk that the work will be shoddy, overpriced or not even completed.”

Anyone concerned about possible rogue trader activity in Oldham can contact Trading Standards via the Citizens Advice consumer helpline: 03454 04 05 06 or to report this online https://ssl.datamotion.com/form.aspx?co=3438&frm=general&to=flare.fromforms 

To report a distraction burglar or rogue trader who has taken your money and is still in the area, please call 999.

Looking for a trader that you can trust? Don’t buy on the doorstep and always seek a trader through recommendations from friend or family member or through an approved trader scheme such as the ‘Buy With Confidence’ Scheme which is run by Trading Standards. To find a trader on the scheme visit www.buywithconfidence.gov.uk or contact the Citizens Advice Consumer Helpline on the number provided above.

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