Beware Traders Calling At Your Door – Message 1

Here’s another timely and important update from OWL, Hertfordshire Constabulary and Neighbourhood Watch. As many of us are still working from home or self-isolating, we’re somewhat of a captive audience. Unfortunately grifters don’t mind getting out and about when there’s a quick illegal profit to be made! Take care, and as always, check in with any vulnerable neighbours or relatives. – Ed

Dear Watch Member,

Hertfordshire Trading Standards and Police receive many reports from residents of traders at the door offering to carry out maintenance or gardening work.

Often, they first offer to do a small low cost job, with paperwork, so they look legitimate.  While doing the work, they can find out if the victim has a support network and test the victim’s capacity to be persuaded into having more expensive work done.  This may lead to further unnecessary or over-priced work, possibly coupled with intimidation.

Our advice is to never have work done by a cold caller at your door, even if they claim to be working on another house nearby.  Reputable traders do not approach customers in this way. If you think your home or garden needs work, please use a recommendation from a trusted friend/neighbour or find a good trader using the Which? Trusted Trader Scheme. You should obtain three quotes to check the price is competitive and if the work really needs doing – never rely on the word of a single trader.  

Please keep an eye out for any vulnerable neighbours who may be approached in this way. If someone has agreed to work being done and there is no paperwork, or if further – more expensive – work is then needed, it is likely that there will be a problem. 

Hertfordshire Trading Standards have partnered with Which? Trusted Traders to provide a scheme to help you find trustworthy traders and give hardworking businesses the recognition they deserve. Local traders on the list have been checked and assessed before being endorsed. 

For further information, please see:

To report a rogue trader please call 101 or report it online at

Philip Waine
Watch Liaison Officer
Tel: 01707 355807

Police Contact Advice

  • Telephone 999 in an emergency where there is a danger to life or a crime is in progress.
  • Telephone 101 for non-emergencies where police attendance is required, to report a crime or to report any other incidents.
  • Alternatively, visit to report a non-emergency crime online or chat to a police operator live via our web chat service.
  • If you are calling about the above message, please tell us that you are responding to a message from OWL.

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