More than a third of householders have been targeted by a “green” scam in the past year, a survey has suggested.
Citizens Advice found more than two-thirds of adults are thinking about making their home more energy efficient in the next 12 months but 36% have already been targeted by a related scam.
More than a quarter were aware they had been targeted before losing any money but an estimated 5.2 million people fell for a scam this year, the poll suggested.
National Trading Standards director Wendy Martin said: “Criminals are exploiting people’s genuine efforts to make their homes more environmentally friendly.
“Residents are pressurised on their doorsteps and peppered with phone calls, emails and SMS messages, which often include false claims about Government schemes and regulations with regard to boilers, insulation and double glazing.
“As all of us try to play our part to help tackle climate change, it’s important we do so safely without being conned by criminals. We urge people to report anything suspicious and to protect themselves and their families from fraud by taking part in the free Friends Against Scams awareness training at friends against scams.org.uk.”
Citizens Advice chief executive Dame Clare Moriarty said: “With more than two-thirds of us thinking about making our homes more energy efficient, it’s important that we know how to stay safe when going green.
“To fight back and help protect ourselves and others, we can report scams. But it also needs to be made as easy as possible to find a trustworthy trader.”
John Herriman, chief executive of Chartered Trading Standards Institute, said: “It is essential that consumers contact organisations such as Citizens Advice for guidance to feel confident and informed when choosing a green product or service.
“It is their confidence that propels the economic recovery forward and helps the country achieve its net zero targets in the green space.
“Reporting concerns to Citizens Advice enables Trading Standards to get a full picture of the risks to consumers and take the appropriate investigative or enforcement action.”
Savanta surveyed 2,112 UK adults between September 17-20.
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