Trading Standards in Moray are warning residents of the dangers they face by accepting work being done on their homes by doorstep callers.
The move came after the harrowing newspaper story of an Elgin woman being duped out of £3200 for work valued at around a quarter that amount.
86-year-old widow Mary Brander told the Press and Journal how she was fooled by a visit from a bogus workman offering to refurbish her front garden. She agreed to pay £3200 for the work – but by the time two men had finished the job they were demanding an additional £800.
Mrs Brander refused to pay that and eventually paid the original sum – but since a legitimate local contractor has confirmed that the value of the work done was less than £800.
Moray Council’s Trading Standards manager, Peter Adamson, reiterated their advice that people should never agree on work being done by doorstep callers. He said: “People are in no position to check the price of the work and will find they are unable to contact the trader when things go wrong.
“The best way to deal with these people is to politely say ‘no’ and to close their door immediately.”
Anyone who has information about bogus workmen operating in Moray is being asked to contact Trading Standards on 0300 1234561 or the Police on the non-emergency 101 number.