How to avoid unscrupulous traders of mobility aids

Mobility aid scams

Mobility aid scams are reported to be among ten scams on the rise in 2013 by The Telegraph and have earned dodgy traders more than £28m in three years. These target elderly people on the telephone or doorstep and involve hard-selling tactics. Below are ways to avoid unscrupulous traders:

Cold calling

This can be stressful for an elderly person, but you must remain composed. If you are unsure or feel pressurised, say that you are not interested and hang up the phone. If you continue to be targeted, do not hesitate to alert the authorities.

On the doorstep

Be wary of time-limited offers and always compare prices by getting a second opinion. If you are unsure or feel under pressure, politely say so and close the door.


If a trader does knock on your door always ask for credentials. Many rogue traders have pretended to be from organisations such as social services to gain a victim’s trust.


Only purchase mobility aids from reputable companies registered with organisations such as the British Healthcare Trades Association.

Do not allow entry

If you are unsure about the credentials of a mobility aid trader do not let them into your home. They may even ask to briefly use the toilet, but this is a tactic to get a foot in the door.

Alert the authorities

If you are unsure or feel pressurised, do not be afraid to take the measure of calling the police. This is often easier said than done, but you need to remain composed.

Have you been targeted by unscrupulous traders? What tactics did they use? The more elderly people understand these tactics the better prepared they will be. For further consumer advice, visit Trading Standards or Citizens Advice. This guest post was provided by Carol Robinson who works with Manage at Home a supplier of mobility aids.