Warning after Duffield con

Derbyshire police are reminding people to be vigilant of rogue traders after an elderly man was overcharged for gardening work carried out at his home.

A spokesman for the force said a man in his 80s who lives in Broadway, Duffield, was cold called by a man claiming to be a tree surgeon who carried out work for an agreed fee on December 8.

She said: “The trader then came back on more than one occasion and took the victim to a cash point to withdraw more money.

“Officers are working with Trading Standards to investigate the incident.

“Police are urging people to be vigilant and also keep an eye out for elderly or vulnerable neighbours.”

Following the incident Derbyshire police issued advicein an attempt to prevent others being tricked.

The advice is:

• Not sure. Don’t open the door.

• Check the identity of the doorstep caller by telephoning the company they are purporting to be from. Use the telephone numbers listed in your local directory or provided independently by your service provider.

• Check whether traders are members of the local authority Trusted Trader scheme or the government Trust Mark scheme.

• Discuss any work you feel needs carrying out on your property with a relative or friend who can help you find a reputable trader.

• Don’t agree to any work or sign anything on the spot. Do not be pressured into having any work carried out.

• Never pay cash up front and don’t ever go to the bank or cash point with a trader.

• If you suspect a rogue trader is at your door then call 999.

• If you need work doing always try to get at least three quotes from companies that have been recommended by family or friends. Derbyshire Trading Standards Service can help you find honest and reliable traders with the Trusted Trader scheme www.derbyshire.gov.uk/trustedtrader.

Since its launch five years ago Trusted Trader has become the biggest single authority scheme of its kind in the country with more than 1,300 members representing more than 80 different trade sectors including home improvements, building and electrical works.

This large membership gives a significant boost to Derbyshire as members bring an estimated £130 million into the local economy each year. That’s the estimated value of consumer transactions in Derbyshire covered by the scheme.