Sefton residents warned over mould survey scams

1st February 2023

Sefton residents are being warned about fraudsters offering free surveys to check for toxic mould in their homes.

Since recent high-profile coverage of two-year-old Awaab Ishak’s death in 2020 as a result of mould in his family home, there have been reports of scammers cold-calling, phoning, texting and emailing householders urging them to have a survey carried out.

Cllr Trish Hardy, Sefton Council’s Cabinet Member for Communities and Housing, said:

“Sadly, criminals are cashing in on the sad death of Awaab Ishak and using it to trick householders into paying administration fees ranging from £50 to £250, which they say will secure Government grants.

“Sometimes, having cynically taken the money, the scammers simply disappear.

“In other cases, they have charged people thousands of pounds for unnecessary work and pressured them into taking out loans to finance it. Some of that work has been such poor quality that it has affect the value of the property.”

The Chartered Trading Standards Institute has blamed emerging damp and condensation problems on the national cost-of-living crisis, which has resulted in people leaving their heating off to save money. It’s Chief Executive John Herriman recently described those exploiting people’s fears about mould as plumbing the depths of cynicism.

Cllr Paulette Lappin, Sefton Council’s Cabinet Member for Regulatory, Compliance and Corporate Services, said: “The Council’s own Trading Standards team is currently investigating a similar case.

“You should avoid clicking on any links or downloading any attachments in unsolicited emails or texts from unknown sources, or even trusted ones, unless you are absolutely sure they are authentic.”

The Council’s Trading Standards team provides help and advice on consumers’ civil rights relating to goods or services purchased. Available to residents and businesses in Sefton, the service promotes fair trading practices and enforces consumer law relating to a range of areas including the safety of consumer goods, the sale of fake or counterfeit goods, doorstep crime and overcharging and misleading prices.

People can find out more at and can contact the team by emailing or calling free on 0808 223 1133.