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Fraudsters detained in rogue trader crackdown

PUBLISHED: 13:06 12 May 2017

Police

Police

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A national day of action took place against the doorstep crimes on Wednesday

Police advice:

To try and minimise your risk of employing a rogue trader:

· Do not deal with doorstep callers offering work on your home or garden and never pay in cash.

· Check that the tradesperson is from the company they say they are from.

· Ask for quotes in writing.

· Ring more than three traders to get a feel for an average price for the job.

· Remember traders must give you written notice of your right to 14 days cancellation when agreeing to do work at your home, including work gained from a cold call.

· If you believe a doorstep crime is happening or about to happen call the police on 101 or 999 in an emergency.

Police have detained four fraudsters as part of a crackdown on rogue traders targeting elderly residents.

A national day of action took place on Wednesday, May 10, involving police officers, Kent County Council, and Medway Trading Standards teams, HM Revenur and Customs, the Environment Agency and Home Office Immigration Enforcement.

A 46-year-old man from Orpington, a 24-year-old man from Cranbrook and two men from Erith aged 20 and 31 were arrested on suspicion of defrauding vulnerable and elderly victims by overpriding for building work and repairs.

They have all been released pending further enquiries.

Officers worked with the partner agencies conducting checks and searches at premises connected to suspected rogue trading and illegal waste disposal, and visited a number of farm and busienss premises to check workers employed at the sites.

Superintendent Tim Cook, said: “Rogue traders prey on the most vulneranle in society and we are determined to bring to justice these criminal gangs who are foten responsible for stealing large amounts of money from those who can least afford it.

“This operation allowed us to work with other agencies to arrest offenders and gain some significant evidence relating to their criminal activities.

“Rogue traders need to be left in no doubt thtat we will find them and leave no stone unturned to seize any cash suspected to be proceeds of their crimes.”

Steve Rock, head of KCC trading standards, said: “I am delighted that this operation has delivered some great successes, helping to protect Kent residents and businesses.

“This would not have been possible without the continued partnership between KCC and Kent Police.

“These doorstep criminals try to take advantage of people in their own homes, offering services or goods at overinflated prices, defrauding them of their hard earned savings, at the expense of legitimate businesses. It is a priority of Trading Standards to seek out these serious and persistent offenders, disrupt them and, where appropriate, take formal action.

“We should all be wary when dealing with people that cold call wishing to sell good and services. People should always seek three quotations, seek advice from friends, family and neighbours and if in doubt always say no.”

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