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Residents urged to only use businesses approved by Trusted Trader scheme after reports of rogue traders targeting business and residents near Bury St Edmunds and in Lowestoft

Residents have been urged to protect themselves from rogue traders by only using businesses approved by the Trusted Trader scheme.

It is a partnership scheme where participants agree to trade fairly under a code of practice, which includes transparent quoting and carrying out work, only charging a fair and reasonable price and dealing with complaints promptly.

Graham Crisp, head of Suffolk Trading Standards, advised householders and companies to use trusted trader.

Residents have been urged to only use businesses approved by Trusted Trader scheme. Picture: iStock
Residents have been urged to only use businesses approved by Trusted Trader scheme. Picture: iStock

He said: “It is a scheme that is all about giving consumers confidence in the work that is being done and in the businesses carrying it out.

“Invariably doorstep traders are just out to make a quick buck at the expense of their customers and, sadly, we have seen cases where they become aggressive when confronted. Please report them to us.”

This follows a number of incidents across the county where residents and businesses have been targeted by rogue traders, including reports of companies being approached by individuals claiming to be able to fix potholes.

One business, near Bury St Edmunds, agreed to the work but found the traders resurfacing their whole car park.

When approached, the trader became aggressive with threats made to the business owner and demanded £10,000 in cash.

Due to the fear and intimidation, the Suffolk business agreed to pay £6,500 in cash.

In Lowestoft, an elderly woman was approached at the door by men offering to clear gutters for £15.

After agreeing to the works, the traders then claimed the roof was leaking and tiles had moved, charging her £1,250.

The traders insisted she pay cash and advised her to visit multiple cash points to be able to withdraw a greater sum of money.

Her daughter intervened and the traders returned £750.

Anyone contacted by traders on the doorstep should report them to Trading Standards via 0808 223 1133.

For businesses wanting to join the Trusted Trader scheme, click here for an online application form.

Cllr Craig Rivett, Suffolk County Council cabinet member for public health and public protection, said: “Traders must go through a strict procedure to join this scheme, so householders can be assured that the people they are hiring meet high standards.

“I would encourage people to use the scheme and for businesses to apply to join it.

“Members not only get support from the Council but are also able to highlight their involvement though using the official logo on their marketing materials, giving potential customers the assurance that they are reputable and dependable.”