Council backs genuine firms as initiative launched to target bogus traders

EAST Renfrewshire Council has launched a new initiative to protect vulnerable residents from bogus traders and in turn support reputable home improvement firms.

The move comes on the back of an estimated £9 billion being lost to scams annually in the UK, with doorstep fraud a key contributing factor.

The local authority said that residents are being targeted by organised criminals who cold call and seek to exploit the most vulnerable by pressuring them into substandard roofing, driveway, and landscaping work.

The new initiative, backed by Trading Standards, will involve routine preventative patrols to support good practice. Any Suspicious activity identified will be reported to Police Scotland and Trading Standards Enforcement Officers for investigation, with the results from the project shared with SCOTSS (The Society of Chief Officers of Trading Standards) who partially funded the initiative.

Awareness will also be raised of the local authority’s Trusted Trader scheme. Firms can apply to join the Trusted Trader scheme here, with it allowing locals to find genuine firms that have been vetted by Trading Standards.

Councillor Owen O’Donnell, leader of East Renfrewshire Council, said, “Many people have a fear of being scammed, with the techniques used by scammers now becoming more convincing so I’m pleased that this vital project has been launched to support our residents and our genuine businesses and show East Renfrewshire is a no-go area for scammers.

“The best way to avoid problems with doorstep cold callers is to say no. Only deal with traders you have verified as reputable. Take time to make a decision and don’t be pressured. Follow Trading Standards advice by reading the financial harm prevention toolkit on the Council’s website or by picking up a copy of the confidence at home pack from Council buildings at Eastwood HQ or Barrhead.”