Thursday, 8 March 2012

Rogue Traders Strike Again

Local residents are again being warned about the dangers of rogue traders after a 90-year-old Worcester Park woman who lives alone was conned out of £22,200 by bogus builders.

The woman, who is recovering from a hip operation, paid several demands for money before refusing to pay any more. Police were alerted after her neighbours found out what was going on.

The victim received a call at her front door on Friday February 24th at around 17.00hrs. The male caller said he was working on the property opposite her and noticed the roof of her semi-detached house needed repairing.

After climbing a ladder for a closer look, he reported that the repair would cost £2,700.

A few days later, a different man telephoned her asking for a further £4,800 to hire expensive equipment for the work. He wanted cash and asked the woman not to tell the bank it was for building repairs.

An further £4,800 was requested over the phone to meet the insurance costs of leaving the equipment on site.

During the next telephone call, the resident said she didn’t want the work carried out and wanted a refund. She was told that she would be refunded by bankers draft but this would cost an extra £5,000.

The resident believes that she paid a further £4,900 at some stage during the visits and telephone calls.

All these payments were collected.

The suspects’ vehicle was described as a silver van with the letters ‘B R’ on the side. Police are urging anyone who may have seen this vehicle to contact Sutton Police station by dialling 101.

Alternatively, you can call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

PC Duncan Harris, of Sutton’s Crime Prevention Team, said residents should refuse entry, and refuse to pay money, to any unknown and unexpected callers and should not do any business with unsolicited tradespeople who call at the door.

Sutton Council run a Safer Sutton Trader Scheme to help residents employ workmen and be confident that certain standards will be met. For details visit: and click on Safer Sutton Trader Scheme under ‘Useful Links’. Alternatively, call 020 8770 5070.