OFT warns of summer rogue traders

Although older people are the least likely demographic to be victims of crime, there is one type of criminal that targets them: bogus callers and rogue traders.

In order to highlight this issue, the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) has launched a July Doorstep Selling campaign to empower vulnerable older people and communities across the country are getting involved.

Research conducted by Future Thinking SPA in November 2011 on behalf of the OFT highlighted that one in five people over the age of 70 admitted they would not be confident in deciding whether or not to employ a doorstep tradesperson.

A fifth also indicated that they would behave in ways which might make them vulnerable to rogue traders such as insisting a tradesperson starts straight-away or paying cash in advance to get a good deal.

The OFT’s July campaign aims to make older people aware of rogue doorstep traders, to educate them about their cancellation rights and to give them the confidence to deal with pressure selling techniques. Intermediaries are also an important audience and the campaign targets carers, family, friends and neighbours alongside the elderly and vulnerable.

Watch this video below from the OFT on the doorstep selling:

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The OFT has developed a range of leaflets and information guides, which are available on their website to read and download: www.oft.gov.uk/doorstepselling

Age Scotland also has information for those worried about bogus callers or rogue traders, available in factsheet form or on the website. You can also phone the Age Scotland Helpline for information: 0845 125 9732.

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