Dumfries & Galloway Residents Urged To ‘shut Out Scammers’ Amid Surge In Doorstep Fraud

Dumfries and Galloway residents have lost almost £35,000 to rogue traders in just six months, new figures from consumer watchdogs reveal.

Trading Standards Scotland (TSS) has urged vigilance amid a surge in doorstep scams, mis-sold services, and botched household repairs.

The organisation has launched a nationwide ‘Shut out Scammers’ campaign with Police Scotland 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.

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

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


Figures from TSS show that between December last year and May this year, a total of £34,771 was lost by 10 households across Dumfries and Galloway.

The average amount lost was £3,477, with one customer being conned out of £9,995 for shoddy landscaping work.

In each case, rogue traders cold-called the occupiers and offered to carry out work related to roofing, gardening, driveways, or general maintenance.

They charged upfront before either leaving without completing the work or not starting at all.

Shocking examples include a couple in their 70s from Dumfries who paid £160 to cold callers for tree trimming and gardening.

The men worked for only half an hour, cutting a few branches, and then left, saying they needed to dispose of garden waste.

They did not return, and the couple could not contact them because they had left no details.

In another case, a cold caller went to a house in Kirkcudbright and offered to fix the roof, showing the resident a fallen tile.

After the woman paid £400 upfront, the trader returned, claiming there was more damage and asked for an additional £15,000.

The woman became suspicious and refused, saying she would get a second opinion.


TSS stressed the importance of conducting thorough research into companies before agreeing to any work.

Householders should check at least three different review sites and obtain more than one quote for a piece of work.

Consumers are advised against dealing with cold callers and encouraged to seek reputable local traders, with vetted options available on the Society of Chief Officers of Trading Standards in Scotland (SCOTSS) approved trader portal at www.approvedtrader.scot.

Anyone caught out by a scam or suspicious activity should report it using the national advice service Advice Direct Scotland’s tool at www.consumeradvice.scot or contact 0808 164 6000 for support.

Victims of fraud should report it to Police Scotland on 101, or 999 in an emergency.

TSS is also urging people to check in with their older relatives to ensure that that they are aware of these scams.

As part of the campaign, a scam awareness van has been visiting different parts of Dumfries and Galloway.
Police and trading standards officers were on hand to provide advice on avoiding doorstep scams, along with resources such as ‘no cold calling’ stickers and information leaflets.

 Councillor Maureen Chalmers, chair of Trading Standards Scotland’s governance board, said:
“Scammers are constantly adapting their tactics to take advantage of people, especially when many households across Dumfries and Galloway are struggling to make ends meet with the cost-of-living crisis.
“So, it is more important than ever to remain vigilant and be on your guard. With our campaign and van, we aim to equip people with the tools and confidence to spot scams effectively.
“We urge consumers not to deal with cold callers and to seek local traders who have been vetted by Trading Standards and who have made a commitment to treat customers fairly via approved trader schemes.
“Do plenty of research into companies before agreeing to any work being undertaken, remembering that online adverts can be misleading and that reviews can be faked.
“It is advisable to check at least three different review sites and to get more than one quote for a piece of work.
“We are also asking people to look out for family members, friends, and neighbours and to report any suspicious behaviour to stop the scammers in their tracks.”