POLICE officers have issued advice after many elderly and vulnerable residents have been targeted by rogue traders in Wallasey.

There have been an increase in calls from residents who have been charged excessive amounts of cash for substandard or non-existent work carried out at their home by doorstep callers.

Now Merseyside Police are issuing a warning to residents to stay vigilant.

They are also urging neighbours to look out for one another by checking on their welfare and reporting any suspicious activity to the police.

Officers say that rogue traders can often appear to be highly professional and can have printed glossy leaflets and vehicles branded with their company name, making residents believe that they are legitimate.

The following advice on how to avoid falling victim to rogue traders has been issued:

  • Ask a neighbour or friend nearby to check out a doorstep caller before you open the door to them or agree to have any work done.
  • Always check the identity of doorstep callers by telephoning the company they are claiming to be from.
  • Use the telephone number listed in your local phonebook or on the company’s website – do not use a number the doorstep caller gives you.
  • Check whether traders are members of the Local Authority Assured Trader Scheme, Trusted Trader or the Government’s TrustMark scheme
  • If you feel that improvement or maintenance work needs carrying out at your property, discuss this with a relative or a friend who can help you find a reputable trader.
  • Do not agree to any work on the spot, or sign anything – do not let anyone pressure you into having work done.
  • It is always wise to get quotes from a number of traders before agreeing to have work done, to ensure that you are not overcharged.
  • Do not pay cash up front and never go to the bank or to a cashpoint with a trader.

Residents are being urged to report any suspicious activity to the police by calling 101 or via social media @MerPolCC.

If you have been a victim of a rogue trader you can report this to Action Fraud by calling 0300 123 2040 or visit https://www.actionfraud.police.uk/reporting-fraud-and-cyber-crime