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Rogue Trader Warning

Rhondda Cynon Taf Council is warning residents to be on their guard against scammers claiming to be from Trading Standards, or an agency working for them, who are contacting people offering to reimburse money previously lost as a result of rogue traders.

The offences are of particular concern as they are targeting people who have already been stung previously as a result of losing money they have paid out to rogue traders who have either delivered shoddy work or no work at all.

Trading Standards wish to make it clear they DO NOT operate in the manner presented by the cold callers.

Anyone who receives a telephone call or a visit at their home from someone offering to reimburse money lost to a rogue trader, in exchange for an upfront fee is urged not to hand over money, cheques or financial details and to contact Trading Standards immediately.

Reports have been received from residents in other areas of South Wales who were contacted, either at their homes or over the phone, by a male claiming to be from Trading Standards or Indesit Company UK acting on behalf of Councils.

They tell the resident the rogue trader who conned them out of money has been caught and that the money they lost can be paid out, but they need an upfront fee to release the cheque.

One resident was contacted in such a manner and told they had £5,000 to be returned to them, but the caller would need £3,000 to release the cheque.

It is believed the scam is being operated by offenders who have paid the original rogue traders for details of their “victims” so they can be targeted a second time.

Paul Mee, Service Director for Public Health and Protection at Rhondda Cynon Taf Council, said: “This is a concerning offence and one we want all residents to be aware of and on their guard against.

“There have not been any offences of this kind reported in the county borough so far but we know, through our proactive work, there are victims of rogue traders whose details may well have been passed on who may be contacted.

“Trading Standards do not operate in this way. Any money recovered as a result of a rogue trader offence would be paid back in compensation via the courts. We would never contact victims ourselves and tell them we have a cheque waiting for them and most certainly would not attempt to secure an advance payment to release that cheque.

“Anyone who receives such a contact, via telephone or a visit to their home, is urged not to enter into any discussions or arrangements with the offenders and to contact us immediately.”

If you receive any such call, it is to be treated as a scam and reported to Trading Standards on 01443 425001 or via the police on 101.