Written by Scott Campbell.
Published at 15:06 GMT on Monday, 19th November 2012.
Trading Standards Officers tell households to say NO to cold callers

NORTH Lanarkshire Trading Standards Officers have issued an appeal urging people to stay safe in their own homes by saying a firm "NO" to cold calling doorstep traders.


As part of the Trading Standards Institute's annual National Consumer Week, BBC presenter Gloria Hunniford and consumer minister Jo Swinson MP launched the message 'cold calling - don't buy it'.


Householders are encouraged to download a no cold calling 'super sign' from the Trading Standards Institute web site. It tells cold calling doorstep traders to go away - those who don't are committing a criminal offence and consumers should report them to the police or trading standards.


Our officers are backing the national campaign to close the door on rogue traders and help end the heartache and financial loss that can be caused by unscrupulous cold callers, who often target the elderly and vulnerable.


More than 10,000 complaints are made about cold calling doorstep traders every year, but this is likely to only be the tip of the iceberg - we know victims are often embarrassed and frightened as many incidents will go unreported.


Councillor Helen McKenna, Convener for the Environmental Services Committee, which oversees Trading Standards matters said: "Every day trading standards officers up and down the country are dealing with cold callers targeting vulnerable consumers for expensive, unnecessary and badly done home maintenance work.


"Our message is clear: we think that there is only one way consumers can really stay safe from rogues in their own homes, and that is by saying 'no' to cold calling doorstep traders."


Councillor McKenna added: "With our Cold Calling - Don't Buy It campaign we want to raise awareness amongst particularly the more vulnerable consumers that cold callers could be anyone and that they should never be dealt with. If you need work done on your homes make sure that you use reputable firms and get quotes from at least two before making your mind up.


"Feel free to phone your local trading standards office for advice about this or any other fair trading matter"

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