Moray residents warned not to be taken in by cold callers

Councillor Douglas Ross

Moray householders are being tricked into entering into energy-saving agreements thinking that they qualify for government or local authority grants.

Trading Standards in Moray say that they have received several complaints from consumers who believed they had been misled after receiving telephone calls conducting ‘energy surveys’ in the region.

Callers give the impression that they are connected to a government department or Moray Council and are offering incentives for people seeking to improve their home insulation or heating/energy equipment.

While government agencies are providing such incentives to help people improve their systems at home, for example as part of the ‘Green Deal’ initiative, people should approach the Energy Savings Trust directly if they wish to take advantage of such schemes.

Councillor Douglas Ross, chairman of the council’s planning and regulatory services committee, said: “I was concerned when an elderly lady in my ward contacted me after she received a telephone call offering an energy survey. She was led to believe that the company was connected with Moray Council but when they asked for payment to be ready the next day she told them she wasn’t interested.

“Fortunately this constituent was alert to the dubious nature of this call and quickly got in touch with me to warn other residents in Moray about this scam. After checking with our housing service, I found that there was no call of this nature from anyone at Moray Council and I passed on my concerns to trading standards.

“Luckily this lady had not agreed to have any work done and I was encouraged that she wanted her experience publicised to prevent others from being misled. Only by working together and adhering to warnings from the police or trading standards will we be able to minimise the success bogus traders have. Ultimately they thrive on misleading information and confusion to get money for nothing.”

Moray Council has written to around 600 homeowners in the region about funding for external wall insulation, and these letters give information on how to take advantage of the scheme.  The council have pointed out that they will never cold-call residents.

Anyone who feels they have been misled about energy saving surveys or the Green Deal is being asked to contact the Citizens Advice Consumer Service on 08454 04 05 06.