It is to be expected that during the current economic downturn that there would be an increase in the number of bogus tradesmen trying to make a quick buck by passing themselves off as bone fide contractors in the construction / utilities industries.

The NICEIC - who are the electrical contracting industry's independent voluntary body for electrical installation throughout the UK and help to protect householders and consumers from the dangers of unsafe and unsound electrical installations - is warning homeowners to be aware of counterfeit contractors.The organisation has found that over the past year the number of electricians fraudulently claiming to be NICEIC Part P registered has increased by over 60 per cent.

According to the NICEIC Group electricians advertising their services as being NICEIC registered, when they are in fact not registered, are not only committing a criminal offence but may put lives at risk by carrying out electrical work that they are not certified for. They stress the importance of homeowners being aware that these scam electricians are out there and of the dangers that they pose.

To combat the significant rise of 'cowboy electricians', NICEIC and Trading Standards are taking a strong stance towards cracking down on this abuse of consumer trust and blatant flouting of safety laws. The introduction of the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Act, which came into effect in May 2008, has also led to an increase in investigations resulting in prosecution.

Homeowners have been alerted to the rise in fraudulent claims via coverage in the national and regional press. The aim of the campaign is to not only support genuine NICEIC registered contractors, but keep the homeowner safe too.

There is only one sure, legal and safe method to become a fully qualified electrician - and be NICEIC Part P registered - and that is by training with a fully approved and NICEIC accredited training school and obtaining all the statutory qualifications, knowledge and training to demonstrate full competency to properly and safely carry out electrical installation, repairs and maintenance.