Bristol City Council’s Trading Standards team issues scam warning to citizens: Houses in Bristol

11 Jun 2020

Bristol City Council’s Trading Standards team issues scam warning to citizens

People living in Bristol are being urged to be wary of bogus council officers knocking on doors offering energy efficient home improvements.

The council’s Trading Standards team has received an increase in reports of individuals pretending to be working on behalf of the council, offering help to secure funding for loft insulation and other energy saving measures.

Councillor Steve Pearce, Bristol City Council Cabinet member with responsibility for Regulatory Services said: “It is very concerning to hear of people operating fraudulently within our communities in this way, especially during our current difficult circumstances where many are feeling vulnerable.

“Thankfully, all residents who have reported incidents so far have refused these offers, but we need to make sure others do not fall victim to this kind of scam. We must be very clear that council officers would never cold call residents or pressure households with hard-sell tactics in the way these individuals have.

“If you require genuine energy efficient improvements to your home, the council’s energy service can directly provide a range of energy saving measures, offering financial support and advice on the most cost-effective options for your home.”

In one particular reported incident, traders attempted to pressure a resident to sign discontinued Bristol City Council paperwork in order to start work on their home.

Sarah Davey, Team Leader for Trading Standards, said: “Cold callers who are imitating council officers and making false claims like these are acting unlawfully, and we will take all necessary action against them. 

“If you are not sure who is at your door, do not open it or let them in. Check the identity of the caller by asking to see some identification and, if they refuse, do not let them in. 

“If you do happen to need work or repairs done, seek quotes from a reliable tradesperson, and take your time to choose. A reputable trader will have no issue with you doing this.”

If you or someone you know is being targeted by cold callers, scammers or rogue traders, please report it to the Citizens Advice Consumer Service on 0808 223 1133.

If you feel threatened at any time or believe you are in immediate danger, call the police by dialling 999.

If you are looking to improve the energy efficiency of your home, you can find out more about the council’s offers on our Energy Service website.