Northamptonshire County Council Trading Standards is advising people affected by the impact of storms Ciara and Dennis to be alert for bogus cold callers offering home repair work.
Trading Standards is warning homeowners that rogue traders could use the damage caused by the storms as a way of persuading people that they need work done on their property.
Their advice is not to buy goods or services from a doorstep caller, even if they claim that the work needs doing immediately.
Those who have suffered damage as a result of the storms should first check with their insurance company to see if they are covered for repairs, as some policies include emergency assistance support.
People who rent their property should contact their landlord and their contents insurance company. Most insurance companies will appoint their own trades people to carry out the work.
For those who are not covered by insurance for any repairs, they can find a reliable trader through the Trading Standards approved trader scheme called Buy With Confidence.
County Council Cabinet Member for Place, Highways and the Environment, Cllr Jason Smithers said: “While we haven’t received any direct reports, we are encouraging homeowners to be on their guard against less reputable traders who may take advantage of any damage caused by these storms and try to convince homeowners to pay for unnecessary or over-priced repair work.
“If people are concerned about a caller at the door or suspect that rogue doorstep traders or distraction burglars are operating in their community, they should contact the dedicated Doorstep crime Action Network (DAN) by calling 0345 23 07 702.”
For more information about Buy With Confidence, the Trading Standards approved trader scheme, visit http://www.northamptonshire.gov.uk/approvedtraders or telephone 01392 383430.
Trading Standards in partnership with Northamptonshire Police can also provide No Cold Calling stickers on request by calling the Citizens Advice Consumer Service on 0808 223 1133. They can also provide consumers with information about their legal civil rights.
Susan Fletcher (Police, Crime Prevention Officer, Northamptonshire)