Project launched to protect residents and local businesses from scam traders

We've launched our Building Consumer Confidence project, which aims to protect vulnerable residents from bogus traders and support reputable home improvement businesses.

Building Consumer Confidence launch

Published: 21 March 2023

An estimated £9 billion is lost to scams in the UK annually, with doorstep fraud a key contributing factor. Residents are targeted by organised criminals who "cold call" and seek to exploit the most vulnerable by pressuring them into substandard roofing, driveway and landscaping work.

The project run by Trading Standards, will involve routine preventative patrols to support good practice and raise awareness of our Trusted Trader scheme. Suspicious activity will be reported to Police Scotland and Trading Standards Enforcement Officers for investigation, with the results from the project shared with SCOTSS (The Society of Chief Officers of Trading Standards) who partially funded the initiative.

Councillor Owen O'Donnell, Leader of East Renfrewshire Council, said: 'Many people have a fear of being scammed, with the techniques used by scammers now becoming more convincing so I'm pleased that this vital project has been launched to support our residents and our genuine businesses and show East Renfrewshire is a no-go area for scammers.

'The best way to avoid problems with doorstep cold callers is to say no. Only deal with traders you have verified as reputable. Take time to make a decision and don't be pressured. Follow Trading Standards advice by reading the financial harm prevention toolkit on our website or by picking up a copy of the confidence at home pack from Council buildings at Eastwood HQ or Barrhead.'

Genuine traders are actively encouraged to sign up to the East Renfrewshire Trusted Scheme which is backed by Trading Standards and Police Scotland. There are many benefits for traders and residents. Find out more (opens new window).

More than half of Scotland's local authorities operate approved trader schemes through their Trading Standards services. More information.

Read our self-help financial harm toolkit for advice on how to stay safe and avoid scams. It includes a scams risk checklist individuals can complete to safeguard themselves or someone they care about, as well as useful information on many areas including doorstep crime and energy scams.

Residents can say no to uninvited doorstep callers by picking up a "No cold calling" sticker and displaying it on their door. Stickers are available to pick up in Council buildings at Eastwood HQ or Barrhead and local libraries.

Report potential scams to Trading Standards via Advice Direct Scotland (opens new window) or phone 0808 164 6000. If you're feeling threatened by an incident, phone 101 for Police Scotland or 999 in an emergency situation. Residents can Ring and Report suspicious doorstep callers on 0800 013 0076.

Last modified on 3 April 2023