MORAY Council Trading Standards has issued an appeal to report on dodgy traders, as they have seen an increase in the last five years.
In 2017 alone over £750,000 was to doorstep traders by Moray consumers, who were often vulnerable or elderly.
At this time of year trading standards have seen an increase of doorstep traders offering services such as roof repairs, driveways, patios or garden clearance. New services being offered include renewable energy systems such as biomass heating and solar panel installations.
Common complaints reported include poor quality of work, a low initial price which goes up significantly because of extra work needed or offering massive savings on utility bills which never materialise.
One investigation, jointly with Police Scotland, resulted in a tradesman being ordered by the court to pay back £30,000 after carrying out sub-standard and grossly overpriced repairs.
Moray Council Trading Standards manager, Peter Adamson said: "Our advice is never to agree to work from the doorstep. Doorstep sellers are experienced in pressure sales techniques and they can be very persuasive.
"Your best protection is to say 'No thank you' and close the door. If you think that work is needed to your property, get quotes from two or three traders and compare them.
"Many instances of doorstep crime remain unreported because victims are embarrassed, they don’t know who to report it to, or they do not even realise they have been the victim of a crime.
"Police Scotland and Trading Standards rely on information from the public to help identify these rogues. Every bit of information on problem traders helps us prevent people being ripped off. If you have problems with doorstep traders or have any other concerns about them, please contact us."
If you have a complaint to Trading Standards they can be contacted on 0300 123 4561 and Police Scotland can be contacted on 101, or you can contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.