Warning over ‘rogue traders’

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Police in Antrim are warning householders to be cautious when approached by door to door traders following a recent incident locally.

The warning follows a report of men calling to a house in the area, offering to carry out building work, then refusing to leave when the offer was declined.

Antrim Response Sergeant Jonny Francey said local people needed to be aware of the risks, with pepole being charged excessively by companys which could not be traced.

“If you do have work that you need carried out at your home it is recommended that you get quotes from at least three different reputable companies,” Sgt. Francey said.

He added: “Friends and family can recommend companies that they have used before. In the past, members of the community have been charged enormous amounts of money by a company that could not be traced.”

Sgt. Francey added that aAllowing a rogue trader into your home or garden also carries the risk of allowing a stranger, with no verifiable identification or recommendation, onto your premises where they can see your valuables and ways into your home.

“Such ‘traders’ normally do not carry identification, are reluctant to give an estimate in writing and will normally ask for cash,” Sgt. Francey added.

If a caller claims to represent an organisation such as NI Water or Power NI, you can use the free ‘Quick Check’ scheme to see if the person is genuine. Simply call 0800 013 22 90.

A genuine caller won’t mind waiting while their ID is checked.

By following the tips below you can also help prevent yourself from become the victim of a rogue trader or bogus caller:

• Keep front and back doors locked;

• Fit a door security chain or similar device (such as a Secure Ring door restrictor) and use it;

• Always ask for an identity card and check it carefully. Ring the free ‘Quick Check’ service on 0800 013 2290 to confirm if someone is from the organisation they claim to represent;

• Don’t sign on the spot if a contract is produced - take time to think about the transaction - a reputable trader will understand;

• Do not keep large amounts of money in your house;

• If a doorstep seller or trader refuses to leave your premises, close the door and dial 999;

• If in any doubt about the person who is at your door, keep them out.

Anyone who requires further crime prevention advice on home security can call their local police station on 101 and ask for their Crime Prevention Officer.

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