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70 vans stopped in crackdown on Pendle rogue traders
AROUND 70 vehicles were stopped by police and trading standards officers during a crackdown on rogue traders and builders.
The day of action saw two vehicles seized by police for no insurance, 17 vehicle safety problems and 58 trading standards offences.
The offences included incorrect paperwork, failure to advise customers of their cancellation rights, the use of incorrect names and addresses on documents and fraudulent use of trade federation logos.
Two roadside checkpoints were set up by Lancashire County Council Trading Standards, Lancashire Police, the Vehicle and Operator Services Agency (VOSA) and Pendle Borough Council.
Unroadworthy vans, benefit fraudsters and unlicensed scrap collectors were also targeted.
County Councillor Janice Hanson, Lancashire County Council cabinet member for public protection, said: “Tackling bogus traders is a top priority for Trading Standards, and our number one piece of advice is simply never to do business with any cold callers.
“If a company uses pressure sales to try to get you to buy goods or agree to have work done immediately, alarm bells should start ringing.
“Typically we find that a small job such as cleaning gutters soon turns into an endless list of demands for fixing slates and repointing ridge tiles.
“Reputable firms will not demand cash up front, and will be happy to come back another day to give you time to think about it and get other quotes.”
Sgt Kimberley De Curtis, from Lancashire Constabulary, said: “Rogue traders prey on vulnerable members of our community, and we have seen them con people out of vast sums of money for work that is substandard, unnecessary and overpriced.
“Offenders will pose as builders, odd job men or gardeners and will pretend that work needs doing when actually it does not. If they do carry out any work, they will do it badly and charge extortionate amounts that are well over the agreed price.
“Anyone can be the victim of a rogue trader but older and vulnerable people are most at risk. We hope this operation and others like it will show rogue traders they are not welcome in Lancashire, and raise awareness of the dangers of rogue traders and doorstep crime.”
In the past year, Lancashire Trading Standards received over 300 complaints about cold callers.
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