Don’t be fooled by imposters posing as council staff

Residents should be extra vigilant after rogue roofers impersonating council staff tricked people into paying for repair works.

Brent and Harrow Trading Standards are investigating recent reports of imposters roaming around the borough impersonating council staff. The scammers claiming to be from Harrow Council have been reported knocking on doors, tricking their victims into letting them in attempting to get people to pay for unnecessary repair works.

Council officers do on occasions carry out inspections unannounced but always carry and show you their identification - and they don’t mind waiting if it is necessary for you to validate their identity. Officers will never ask you to pay cash on the spot for inspections, repairs, fees or for work to be carried out.

Trading Standards Service Manager Simon Legg said:

“Unfortunately not everyone who comes to the front door is genuine. It is important to be aware that some people are willing to prey on the trusting nature of our residents and it is everyone’s responsibility to challenge unannounced visits and suspicious activity. Most legitimate businesses, do not have to use door to door sales techniques to attract custom, don’t let these people into your home and certainly do not pay them cash. If you think you have been targeted by bogus traders, please report it to us via Citizens Advice on 03454 04 05 06.”

In one case, a resident allowed the imposter into their house to carry out a fake inspection and charged them £6000 for repairs. Thankfully they realised what was happening and refused to pay. However another resident did pay out substantial money on incomplete works after being led to believe major works were needed and that the roof was about to collapse.

Don’t let that happen to you, be vigilant. Before you allow unknown people into your home, always ask to see proof of ID. Write down their name and number and if you feel threatened at any time or believe you are in immediate danger call the police on 999.