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Door-to-door rogue traders warning

New tactics being used in Hertfordshire

Photograph of Herts police crime alert image

Police and Trading Standards officers in Hertfordshire are warning residents to be vigilant after rogue traders in the county adopt new tactics for conning people on the doorstep.

According to a message from OWL, the Hertfordshire police online watch service, instead of offering to do work in your garden, these callers are now employing a new method to try to catch people out.

Apparently they tell people on the doorstep that they are working next door or at the bottom of the garden on a hedge or trees that are on the boundary and that the clippings may fall into the neighbour's garden.

They then make an offer that, in order to save the householder any bother, they could access their garden to collect the branches or clippings.

Once they are in the garden, they offer to do work on the victim's side. Because the vicitm thinks that they are working at a neighbour’s house, they assume that they must be ok and agree.

These traders aren’t working next door, and in the latest incident in Hertfordshire, they took £100 cash and then disappeared, not even doing the work.

Hertfordshire Trading Standards advise that you don’t deal with any cold callers and should not believe any story of working next door – on trees, on an adjoining roof, anywhere.

Police say reputable traders will not approach a resident in this way, without the neighbour being present.

In this latest incident, the victim was an 87 years old man. Police are calling on neighbours to look out for your elderly family members and neighbours and warn them about this latest scam.

Please call the police on 101 to report any trader using this approach or 999 if there is a crime in progress.

The attached Rogue Traders leaflet, below, can be downloaded and printed.