Man arrested in connection with "bogus workman" offences

Issued by Police Scotland

Police in Lochaber can confirm that a 27-year-old man has been arrested in connection with alleged consumer protection offences in Fort William.

It follows an investigation by Police Scotland and Highland Council Trading Standards, after a report was received this week of "bogus workmen" in Fort William and alleged fraudulent activity relating to charges for work carried out on a house in the town.

The male was released pending further enquiries. It is anticipated that a report will be submitted to the Procurator Fiscal in due course.

Constable Gavin Law, based at Fort William Police Station, said: “Bogus callers remain a persistent problem in our communities and can result in people being scammed out of a significant amount of money and left with a poor standard of work and on occasions left in dangerous condition.

“We continue to work closely with our partners at Highland Council Trading Standards in an effort to protect members of the public from falling victim to doorstep crime.

“Cold callers can come across as extremely convincing and will make every effort to pressure homeowners into parting with their money for a product or service they do not require.

“We recommend never paying for goods or services to strangers who turn up uninvited at your door.

“If you are aware of any suspicious activity taking place at the home of a neighbour, friend or family member then please contact police immediately.

“Genuine tradespeople will be more than happy to be spoken to by police as they have nothing to hide and are keen to protect their trade. 

“We must send a strong message to criminals that doorstep crime activities will not be tolerated, and assure residents that all incidents reported are taken seriously and acted upon.” 

Mark McGinty, Trading Standards Team Leader, added: “Cancellation rights exist to allow the householder to change their mind when an uninvited caller persuades them to contract at their home. 

"Also, not providing details such as a name and address means if something goes wrong the householder has no one to go back to, but more importantly, no one to enforce their consumer rights against and pursue a claim for redress.

"Bogus workmen, that is, illegal trade, often have no regard to cancellation rights or any other consumer rights, they will often hide their identity because they simply do not wish engage after they have taken the householders money, often for very substandard works."

If you have any concerns with regards to doorstep crime please contact Highland Council Trading Standards  on 01463 228700, or email trading.standards@highland.gov.uk, or your local Police Scotland Preventions and Interventions Officer on 101 or 999 in an emergency situation.

11 Jan 2019
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