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Home chevron_right Crime and safety chevron_right Rogue traders

Rogue traders

Rogue traders (or cowboy builders) trick people into spending a lot of money on building work which is either poor quality or completely unnecessary. They may even take your money and not carry out any work at all.

Never let people who turn up unexpectedly at your house do any work for you, and never agree to buy anything from them. If a deal sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

Agreeing to buy a product or service from a trader you don't know can have serious consequences for you, your home, and your money.

Stop, chain, check!


To help protect yourself and your home, whenever someone comes to your door:

  • stop and think before you open the door
  • check who it is through the window or door viewer
  • put the chain on before you open the door

Always check the caller's identity badge or card, even if they've made an appointment with you. You can ask them to post their proof of identity through the letter box. This should have their name, company, and phone number on it. Or you can give the company a ring to make sure the caller is legitimate. If they are, they won't mind the wait!

If in doubt, keep them out!

Report scams or rogue traders


If you've been a victim of rogue traders, contact Trading Standards via the Citizens Advice Consumer Service on 0808 223 1133.

If you think rogue traders are operating in your area, contact your local police on 101 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

TrustMark approved tradesmen


Trustmark helps you find a local tradesperson who is trustworthy and reliable, and whose work meets government-endorsed standards.

All TrustMark-listed tradesman have been independently verified through on-site inspections, and checks on their trading records and financial status. They have all signed up to a code of practice which includes insurance, health and safety practices, and customer care. Trustmark monitors the firm's quality of work, customer warranty, trading practices, insurance-backed warranty, and deposit protection insurance in case the firm should stop trading.

All TrustMark-listed tradesmen will display the Trustmark logo to let you know they've been approved and meet all of the requirements. Always check that tradesmen are licensed for all of the work you ask them to carry out.

Middlesbrough Council's Staying Put Agency operates a 'select list of contractors' who all have the TrustMark. For more information, call 0800 5875184 or email stayingputagency@middlesbrough.gov.uk