COWBOY traders are being targeted in Ryton-on-Dunsmore.
A new ‘No Rogue Trader Zone’ is to be launched in the village under a scheme operated by Warwickshire County Council’s (WCC) Trading Standards Service and supported by Warwickshire Police, after officers identified a number of rogue trader ‘hotspots’.
A survey revealed 63 per cent of villagers who responded said doorstep sellers were a nuisance in the area, saying they had been persistent, aggressive, dishonest, intimidating, and intrusive.
One resident said a trader broke her gate to try and enter via patio doors when she refused to open her front door. Another con artist cut down trees in a resident’s garden despite being asked not to, and stole ladders.
Trading Standards Officers will issue residents with No Rogue Trader door and window stickers and information booklets advising how to stay safe from scam traders.
Street signs will also go up to warn rip-off merchants they will be reported if they try to trade in the area.
WCC community safety spokesman Coun Howard Roberts said: “Rogue traders are a menace, pressurising residents to have work carried out on their homes and gardens that is often unnecessary and always overpriced and poorly carried out.
“No Rogue Trader Zones have proved very successful in deterring rogue traders and bogus callers where they have been established across the county. I’m delighted that a No Rogue Trader Zone is now being launched in Ryton-on-Dunsmore to help protect often very vulnerable and elderly residents from doorstep crime.”
PCSO Matt Havelock of the Rugby Rural Central Police Safer Neighbourhood Team added: “Rogue traders call at your door and offer to do work on your home or garden that will be either unnecessary or vastly over-priced. They have no formal training to carry out the work and some have links with distraction burglars.
“Don’t ever go to a bank or cash point with the trader; legitimate traders would never do this and never allow anyone to pressure you into agreeing to have work carried out. Do not open the door if you do not know the caller. If you ask them to leave and they don’t, call 101 or 999 in an emergency .”
“If you do think your property needs some work, talk to a relative or friend who can help you find a reputable trader.”
“Never agree to any work or sign anything on the spot and if you are not sure, don’t open the door.”
Report rogue traders to Warwickshire Trading Standards Rapid Response Team via the Citizens Advice consumer helpline on 03454 04 05 06.
Visit www.warwickshire.gov.uk/scams for more information.