Scammers steal more than £20k from Perth and Kinross residents

-Credit: (Image: Andrew Neil)
-Credit: (Image: Andrew Neil)

Perth and Kinross residents have lost more than £20,000 to rogue traders in the space of just six months.

Figures from Trading Standards Scotland (TSS) show that between January and June this year, a total of £21,639 was lost by 17 households across the region, an average loss of £1,273 each.

TSS is urging vigilance amid a surge in doorstep scams, mis-sold services, and botched household repairs.

In one shocking case, cold callers visited properties near Crieff and said they were offering discounts on roof cleaning, repairs and painting that would only be available on that day.

One couple agreed to have their roof cleaned and a protective coating applied, which would cost a total of £6500, supposedly reduced from £8200.

They paid a £2000 deposit over the phone and the traders returned the next day to clean the roof. They power washed the slates and asked for the rest of the money to be paid via bank transfer, which the couple did.

The tradesmen were supposed to return the following week to apply the protective coating, but kept making excuses and eventually cut off contact.

When the couple asked an independent surveyor to check their roof, he said the power washing had damaged some of the tiles and that done properly, the work should only have cost them around £900.

Residents on the outskirts of Perth were also approached by cold callers who said they were carrying out roadworks nearby.

They asked homeowners if they would like their driveways or parts of the roads to their properties resurfaced for a discounted rate.

One man who was visited declined the offer, but then noticed that two men in high-vis jackets had started work at the end of his road and had dumped between four and five tonnes of asphalt chips.

He told them they did not have permission to carry out the work, but they tried to charge him £7000 for what they had done so far. He felt threatened and eventually agreed to pay a deposit of £2000 on condition that they would complete the work that day.

After receiving the money the tradesmen left the property, supposedly to get more materials, and never returned.

TSS is running a nationwide ‘Shut out Scammers’ campaign with Police Scotland and councils, which is designed to raise awareness about the risks of accepting work offered by cold callers.

Experts said that fraudsters are adapting their tactics to exploit the cost-of-living crisis, including making bogus claims to be working on behalf of the government with fake subsidy offers, or with local authorities.

Criminals often employ online and social media ads featuring misleading information and reviews.

The warning follows increasing reports of incomplete or unsatisfactory roofing, gardening, or driveway work.

Perth and Kinross Council housing and communities official Elaine Ritchie said: “Doorstep scammers and cold callers continue to be an issue around Scotland, including Perth and Kinross, and their actions can cause immense distress, mentally and financially, to anyone caught out by them.

“Our Trading Standards team works closely with TSS and Police Scotland to help raise awareness of the risks from rogue traders and fraudsters making bogus offers to residents, and advise them how they can protect themselves from scams.

“In the course of this week the national scam awareness van visited Blairgowrie, Crieff and Perth to share information, support and advice on shutting out scammers, and we would encourage anyone in Perth and Kinross with concerns about the behaviour of cold callers to report these, and to use trusted local traders, details of whom can be found on our website at”