Aberdeen residents warned of bogus cold callers

Grampian Police and Aberdeen City Council us urging residents to be wary of bogus cold callers offering to carry out maintenance work in or about their premises.

This follows an incident in the West End area of Aberdeen earlier this month where minor repair work was offered to be carried out on the roof of a house.

The householder, an 82-year-old man, was later convinced there were more serious roof problems and parted with a low four-figure sum of money for work that was never carried out. There was no serious roof problem.

Grampian Police and Aberdeen City Council are urging householders to heed the following advice:

Don’t agree to any work on the basis of a verbal quote. If you need work done, obtain written quotes from a number of reputable companies;

Whatever you do, don’t agree to be taken to the bank by workmen to withdraw money, as reputable companies will not request this;

Fix a price and be specific about what you want done. Make sure you have everything in writing and do not rely on verbal agreements. Anyone who signs a contract on the doorstep has seven days to cancel;

If you feel intimidated by a caller, close the door and call the police.

Aberdeen City Council Trading Standards team leader Graeme Paton said: “Once these workmen are on the roof, some tell owners that there are other problems which will cost even more. This extra work is costing thousands of pounds.

“People need to be very careful about workmen visiting them like this. Some of these characters are very clever. They worry the homeowner, especially the vulnerable and the elderly, with all kinds of stories of sometimes non-existent or grossly exaggerated problems. Very often, any information provided by the workmen, such as names, addresses, and telephone numbers are false, making them very hard to trace. Nothing is given in writing.”

Further advice and information is available at www.grampian.police.uk or via trading standards officers at Aberdeen City Council.

Anyone with any information bogus callers is asked to contact Grampian Police on 0845 600 5 700 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 if you wish to remain anonymous.