Police Scotland have issued updated advice on how to spot a rogue trader.

The most common types of work offered are roofing, driveways and gardening. They mainly operate during the spring and summer months when lots of people are looking to get work done around the house and garden. It is difficult to tell the difference from a real tradesman, however they will:

 Offer to do small jobs cheaper than competitors. However, once started they claim that urgent and more expensive repair work is needed on your property when this is not the case.

 Claim they can start immediately and offer special discounted deals if you pay in cash now, trying to rush your decision.

 Complete similar work in your area to give you confidence in them. However, scammers have been known to finish one job in order to get into a local area. They then go on to scam, mislead and overcharge additional customers in the surrounding area.

 They can have a local telephone number and claim to have a local business premises. Telephone numbers can now be purchased and business units can be let short term. Scammers will often go to great lengths to make you believe they are local.

 They may even drive a branded vehicle and have a website that they can direct you are able to supply a business card.

 Don’t be afraid to say no and don’t be embarrassed as genuine callers expect you to be careful.  If you’re not sure, don’t answer the door and report the incident to police.

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