ALL households are being urged to be vigilant when having work done on their homes, as part of a Citizens Advice Scams Awareness campaign.

OFTEC the trade body for the oil heating industry, has joined the campaign to help people to get to know the signs of a professionally qualified technician.

Today begins Scam Awareness 2019, a national campaign that runs between June 10 and 23, with the aim to raise awareness of the types of fraud and that can be done to protect from them.

In 2018, more than 3,648 British homes were victim to a scam according to a recent survey. The survey showed an increase of 12 per cent from the previous year according to Crime and Fraud Statistics.


OFTEC have given out some advice for what to look for. Malcolm Farrow said: “As we start to use our heating less during the warmer summer months it’s a popular time to have the system serviced, replaced or upgraded.

“Many of the 114,000 oil heated homes in Wales will be looking for a technician to carry out this work but remember, it’s vital to ensure you hire a qualified professional to avoid potentially being left with a broken or unsafe system which is expensive to repair.”

He added: “It’s also important to look out for older and often more vulnerable relatives and friends, supporting them in any decision-making when contracting a professional.

“Ensuring they are not harassed by repeat visits from unwanted callers as this can have a significant impact on their financial and emotional wellbeing.”

The OFTEC advice is included below.

• ‘Look out for the badge’ - ask to see an official ID badge which proves their professional credentials and double check with their professional registration body

• Get multiple written quotes for the work and be cautious of saying yes to significantly cheaper options – this can sometimes be a warning sign

• Ask about previous work they have done, what types of heating systems they are qualified to service and check for online reviews and recommendations

• Keep a paper trail and make sure you double-check any agreements before signing

• If you have concerns, speak with a family member, friend or contact OFTEC (for oil heating) or GasSafe (for mains gas) for advice