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Residents warned to be aware of rogue traders

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Dudley Council’s scams unit is warning residents to be aware of rogue traders who might be trying to cash in on energy saving grants.

At this time of year, when people are often trying to cut down on their energy usage and save money on their bills, there are rogue traders around trying to take advantage.

Often they will falsely claim they can carry out work such as cavity wall or loft insulation, at a reduced price through the use of energy savings grants but fail to do it,  having taken advance payment or complete it to a poor standard.

One scam to be particularly aware of this winter is linked to the government’s new green homes grant, an initiative to get homeowners to invest money in improving the energy-efficiency of their property, while also giving the economy a much-needed boost.

The government will provide a voucher up to £5,000 that covers up to two-thirds of the cost of energy efficiency and low carbon heat improvements, including insulation and double glazing, but only approved and checked traders can carry out the work requested to meet the criteria.

The concern is that illegitimate traders may exploit the trust of consumers who want to access a voucher to get home improvements made cost-effectively.

To avoid being targeted by these kinds of scams, residents are urged to take their time, research the company that’s contacted them and if in doubt don’t.

Councillor Nicolas Barlow, cabinet member for health and adult social care, said:

Scammers often target our most vulnerable residents, but coronavirus has changed that. This year we’ve seen scammers target more and more of us in our communities, trying to cash in on our heightened anxieties at this time of crisis.
But be assured we are doing everything we can to investigate and put a stop to this criminal activity.
People can access genuine energy savings advice and information about grants that maybe available to them by calling our energy advice line on 01384 817086.

Any suspicious company or activity can be reported to the scams unit by calling 01384 818871 or via trading.standards@dudley.gov.uk

Residents can find further information about the scheme and registered installers by visiting https://greenhomesgrant.campaign.gov.uk

To find out more about the work of the scams unit and what tips you can follow to avoid being a victim of a scam go to - https://www.dudley.gov.uk/business/trading-standards/rogue-traders-and-scams/scams/

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