Beware of rogue traders and doorstep scammers – that’s the message this autumn from Essex Trading Standards.

In Essex, over the past 18 months there have been more than a hundred reports of doorstep incidents which have led to financial loss incurred by residents. Sometimes victims are repeatedly targeted resulting in significant individual financial losses.

Figures from 2017/18 show the average age of victims of this type of crime is 71 and the average financial loss to each victim is £8,960.

Essex Trading Standards have issued advice to residents concerned about dealing with traders when they need household work completed.

This advice is: • Choose a ‘Buy With Confidence’ accredited trader – to find a reputable trader approved and vetted by Trading Standards visit

• Obtain several quotes

• Get written quotes detailing exactly what work will be carried out, how much it will cost and what the terms of payment are.

• Take your time to make sure you’re happy with what you’re undertaking • Ask a trusted friend/relative for advice

• Ask to see identity.

Residents are also advised to be aware that a genuine trader who comes to your house, will not:

• Call without an appointment

• Ask you or offer to take you to the bank to withdraw cash or make a money transfer

• Ask you to pay in full before the work is complete

• Insist that you decide about the work they're offering to do on the spot

• Bully or scare you into doing the work.

For general help and advice or to report a problem with a trader that is not immediate telephone the Citizens Advice Consumer helpline on 03454 04 05 06 If you are concerned about a trader who is already at your house call 999 immediately.

To underline all this advice a new short film has been co-produced by Essex Trading Standards, to raise awareness of rogue traders and doorstep scammers.

The film, Rogue Trader, a co-production with Chelmsford-based film company Deadline Communications, stars actor and singer Lee Mead, known for his starring roles in Casualty and Holby City, and winner of the 2007 BBC talent contest Any Dream Will Do.

In the film, a young man, played by Lee Mead, has a dawning realisation that an elderly relative is being viciously scammed.

Susan Barker, councillor for customer, corporate, culture and communities, said: “We believe in building stronger and safer communities.

“As such, it is great that Essex Trading Standards are taking a lead in raising awareness of rogue traders and doorstep scammers. Educational material, such as this brilliant video, helps to shine a light on this important issue and protect residents.”

The film Rogue Trader is now available to view on YouTube at It will also be distributed on the Essex Trading Standards Twitter feed @EssexTS and the Essex County Council Twitter account @Essex_CC as well as the Essex Police Twitter account @EssexPoliceUK.