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Protecting yourself against bogus callers

Find out how to protect yourself from bogus callers.

We recommend that consumers are vigilant of cold callers operating in Westminster. Many bogus traders pose as reputable:

  • tree surgeons
  • loft insulators
  • fire alarm suppliers
  • roofers
  • driveway installers
  • fish sellers
  • plumbers

For example, we've had several calls about fake plumbers telling residents that a neighbour's property is flooded and asking to enter to look for a sign of a leak. While the resident is distracted, the fake plumber spills water in the property and offers to install a pump to fix the leak for a 'deposit' of £5,000 in cash for the hire of the equipment.


Please be aware that bogus traders can:

  • persuade victims to have unnecessary work done
  • overcharge
  • provide a poor standard of work
  • fail to give notice of a consumer’s cancellation rights

These callers may also be distraction burglary attempts. Sometimes, callers pose as trading standards officers, the fire brigade, council staff or the police with plausible stories to get access to the victim’s home.

Steps to protect yourself

The Met Police has useful tips on how to protect yourself against bogus callers.

Who to contact if you have concerns

Please contact the Trading Standards team.

If it is an emergency, call the police on 999.

Westminster services

We offer a free handyperson service for minor repairs to residents who are over 60 or receive a disability allowance.

Published: 27 September 2021

Last updated: 5 September 2023