Rogue trader warning after woman pays out £6k for gardening work – that was never completed
Written by The Newsroom on June 3, 2019
An urgent appeal to avoid tradespeople drumming up business by knocking doors has been issued after a woman was allegedly scammed in Rugeley.
The victim handed over thousands of pounds of her savings to two men who offered to do her gardening but they ran off leaving destruction in their midst.
On May 25, the rogue traders knocked the door of the trusting woman offering gardening services amounting to £6,000.
Police said they had arrived in a van with “Ashworth Garden Services” written on the side, and was towing a shredder.
After the woman agreed to pay half of the sum, work was carried out on the Saturday but not completed. They arranged to come back on the Tuesday to finish off and remove some weeds growing in the eaves of the house, accor.
After the second half of the money had been handed over, the men left saying they needed more supplies to complete the work on the eaves and never returned. The householder later discovered that the work on the eaves had caused damage to the roof.
Staffordshire Police are advising residents to be wary of employing tradespeople who call unannounced.
Anyone who has any information is asked to ring 101 quoting incident 113 of May 29.
Advice on dealing with possible rogue traders or bogus officials:
If you suspect a bogus caller is at your door call 999 immediately.
•Don’t let any caller pressure you into making a quick decision.
•Don’t feel you are being rude or uncaring by saying ‘no’ – your own safety is more important.
•Check the identity of the caller by calling the company they claim to be from eg. council or gas, electricity, water.
•Use the telephone numbers listed in your local directory or sent to you by your service provider.
•Do not use any telephone numbers provided by the caller.
•’Water Boards’ no longer exist, it is an obsolete phrase used only by bogus callers.
•If a builder or tradesman offers to accompany you to the bank so you can withdraw cash to pay them don’t accept. Arrange for someone you know well to take you and pay the tradesman later.
•Don’t keep large quantities of cash at home; put it in the bank where it is safe.
•Keep doors locked and windows secure at all times.
•Ensure that if you do let somebody in to your home, you close the door behind them – distraction burglars often work in teams, where one will distract you whilst others sneak in through the insecure door.
•If somebody asks for your help (needs to make a telephone call, lost a ball in your garden, needs a drink or pen and paper) refer them to a younger neighbour or assist them through a closed door or call a friend or neighbour to come and help.
•If you are not sure, don’t open the door!
To keep up-to-date with crime in your community, join the Black Country Crime Watch Facebook group where you will be alerted to any suspicious or criminal behaviour happening in your area.
Updates from the Cannock Chase Radio News Desk via Birmingham Mail - Cannock News