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Be “in-the-know” – our top tips to avoiding being duped by rogue traders

Unforeseen events happen: that damaged pipe in the loft that causes the plaster to fall in on the bedroom ceiling or the leak that ruins the kitchen floorboards. So much of household maintenance is unexpected, but there are things that we can plan for. By regularly inspecting your property and paying attention to jobs as you work, you can ensure that more substantial issues don’t creep up on you.

A lot of rogue traders use visual examples of necessary work to their advantage. They see an opportunity and seize it, using potential issues such as overflowing guttering, cracked roughcast and driveways requiring resurfacing as excuses to scam you out of your hard-earned cash. Even if the work is overdue, by knowing what needs done and the priority in which it needs completed, you can counter any discussion with unsolicited callers with confidence and knowledge. This eliminates their ability to build fear and any impulse for you to pay to have work done immediately.

If you are unsure of how to resolve any maintenance or structural issues at your property, consult a reputable professional who will be able to assist you.

Our top tips to avoid being duped by rogue traders

  • Listen to friends and family recommendations

If you need maintenance work completed, it can sometimes be beneficial to ask people you trust if they know someone who can help. The proof is in the pudding – many reputable workmen rely on positive word-of-mouth for future business. Reputation can make or break any trader.

  • Investigate your contractor

By carrying out research yourself, you can protect yourself. Online reviews can be useful but remember that anyone with internet access can write a review (even the rogue trader themselves).

  • Shop around

Obtaining multiple quotes reduce the likelihood of being duped. By getting two or three quotes, comparisons can be made, giving you a greater idea of the average price for work and highlight any potential rogue traders (the price may be too high or low). Remember, even with low priced work, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

If you feel that you have been swindled by a rogue trader, you can seek further advice and assistance by contacting Trading Standards, or by visiting our website at for FAQs. Alternatively, give us a call on 0808 164 6000 (Mon-Fri, 9am-5pm

Last updated: 18 July 2019

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