News articles - 2023

Rogue traders – what to look out for

Date: 23 May 2023

Rogue traders are individuals or companies who convince people to have unnecessary, unfinished, or overpriced work carried out on their property. They often target the more vulnerable members of our communities, such as elderly neighbours and those on low income.



Rogue traders most commonly operate from the doorstep, offering building or maintenance work with no intention of completion. In some cases, they may use malicious or aggressive behaviour to get work contracts signed.


How to spot a rogue trader

Here are some common red flags you can look out for:


  • They are available immediately – although they could have a legitimate reason, labourers are in high demand, so it’s worth investigating further
  • They are extremely cheap – if it seems too good to be true, it probably is
  • They’re asking for full upfront payment
  • They refuse to give you a written quote
  • They don’t have a website or online presence


Know your rights

If you agree to purchase a product or service over £42, traders must:


  • Give you 14 days to cancel
  • Not start work within the 14-day period without your permission
  • Give cancellation information in writing
  • Provide services as described
  • Carry out services with reasonable skill and within a reasonable time


How to make sure a trader is who they say they are

Trading Standards Officers recommend that you:


  • Get personal recommendations from friends, family, or neighbours
  • Ask for references from previous clients
  • Request quotes from multiple companies to ensure you’re not being overcharged
  • Take your time – don’t rush in to making decisions, payments or signing contracts
  • Visit to find a Trading Standards approved trader


If you think that you or a loved one has been the victim of a rogue trader, contact Trading Standards online at or call the Citizens' Advice Consumer Helpline on 0808 223 1133. Alternatively, you can report a rogue trader by calling 101.








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