Rogue traders targeted in festive clampdown

ROGUE traders who prey on pensioners in Hull and pushy salesmen who use strong-arm tactics on the vulnerable are being targeted in a crackdown over the Christmas and New Year holiday period.

The organisers say the purge will also encourage younger members of the community to keep an eye on elderly neighbours and report suspicious characters over the next three weeks.

Hull Council is also warning people to beware of doorstep criminals and urging residents to watch out for vulnerable neighbours in the season of goodwill.

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Councillor Mike Ross, portfolio holder for customer and neighbourhood services, said: "Whilst there are legitimate traders who do business door-to-door and provide a useful and welcome service, there are others who target older and more defenceless people in our communities.

"The council provides advice to carers/care professionals to help them protect those they care for from rogue doorstep selling, scammers and bogus callers.

"It's important that we help people to resist their strong-arm tactics and encourage others who may be vulnerable to say no."

Officials say unsolicited cold callers are a worry for communities and it is elderly and vulnerable people in particular who are targeted by bogus traders, high pressure salesmen and even criminals associated with distraction burglary.

Genuine and official visitors, such as those from Hull Council and utility companies, will have identification and people should never be afraid to ask to see it, trading standards bosses say.

Chris Wilson, acting city trading standards officer, said: "It's important that anyone who has any concerns about a doorstep seller gets in touch with us. Their calls could help us to protect others from these rogue traders."

He says anyone can report suspicious traders by contacting Consumer Direct on 0845 404 0506, by email at [email protected] or by calling into the Trading Standards Advice Centre in Bond Street, Hull.