Rogue trader warning from upset business

The damaged roof
The damaged roof

A businessman wants to warn Leighton-Linslade residents about rogue traders after two men pretended they were from his company.

In June, two men visited the home of a resident in St Mary’s Way, Linslade, and claimed they were tradesmen who had spotted that the man’s roof needed repairing, a job “requiring scaffolding”.

They asked if the man could pay a £3,000 deposit, which he did not pay and also displayed the website of the company they were pretending to be from on the Linslade man’s laptop.

However, the Linslade man went up the ladder to inspect the “damage” himself – only to find fresh damage – at which point the two men jumped in their car and left.

The Linslade man contacted the building company, and it was confirmed that the men were not from the business.

The businessman, who did not wish to be named, claimed: “It has taken many years to gain the reputation that this company has; there are two victims – the business and the elderly man.

“The business has suffered because of this. I believe I recognised the two men and passed names to the police.”

A Bedfordshire Police spokesman, said: “We received a report of a doorstep crime in which two men purporting to be from a reputable company encouraged a homeowner to take out costly work in St Mary’s Way on June 15.

“They then caused criminal damage to the victim’s roof before being asked to leave.

“An investigation was launched but the crime has been filed pending any further information coming to light. The information has been logged as intelligence and anyone with information about doorstep crime is urged to call Bedfordshire Police on 101.”

Bedfordshire Police has issued advice on rogue traders:

Detective chief inspector Duncan Young, said: “Rogue traders can often take the guise of supposedly legitimate tradesmen who may knock at doors to advise residents that they have a problem which needs fixing, such as a leaky roof or uneven driveway.

“In many cases they carry out shoddy work in exchange for large amounts of money, or even charge their victims without doing any work at all.”

Rogue Traders advice:

• If you have an unexpected knock on the door never open it to strangers.

• If unsure of the visitor’s identity always ask for their ID and telephone the company they’re purporting to be from.

• Ask relatives/friend s who may know a reputable trader.

• Check if traders are members of the Consumer Codes Approval Scheme or the Government Trust Mark scheme.

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

• Never pay cash up front and never go to the bank or cash point with a trader.

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