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How Can You Spot a Rogue Trader?

January 05, 2022

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It has been revealed that the most common types of work offered by rogue traders 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 we have pulled together some tips on what to look out for in terms of their offering.

Most rogue traders will try to get business by:

  • Offering 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.

Other things to look out for is if they claim to:

  • 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 to or they will be able to supply a business card. Make sure you fact check all of their details.

What can you do to shut out the scammers?

  • If you don’t want any cold callers, you can request a No Cold Calling sticker from your local Trading Standards office.
  • Always ask for identification.
  • Ask to see a business card or letterhead for full contact details for the company. Call the business to check it exists and that the contractor does work for them.
  • Request to see proof of qualifications in their trade.
  • Consult your local Trusted Trader Scheme via and obtain three quotes for any maintenance work.
  • Check to see if the contractor is a member of a trade association by searching the trade association websites.
  • Never feel pressured into making a decision on the spot. Any legitimate trader will be happy to return at a later date, use this time to research their business.
  • Never agree to a trader starting work straight away and never hand over any money without seeing proper paperwork.
  • Making sure that you understand the terms and conditions, including cancellation rights. Make use of your cooling off period to think about the proposed work.
  • Never be afraid to say ‘No thank you’ and close the door.
  • You can also sign up to the Neighbourhood Watch system to receive timely alerts about local crime prevention and safety issues from partners.

Remember, rogue traders will go to great lengths to get your work, always ensure you complete a proper vetting process before engaging in work with them.

At Manus, we give our clients peace of mind by vetting all of our tradespeople.

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