POLICE have issued a warning to householders to be aware of bogus callers and rogue traders after a 90-year-old Hillmorton woman nearly fell victim to a scam.
A man called at the home of the pensioner on Wednesday afternoon (June 20). After discussing repairs which the woman knew needed to be carried out at her home, he requested payment of £4,800 in cash in order to buy the equipment to do the work.
The woman had been expecting someone to come to see the work that needed doing and had presumed the caller was him.
The man told the woman to go to the bank and withdraw the cash, but not to tell staff it was for a builder as he said they wouldn’t let her have the money if she did.
Fortunately a friend found out what was happening and prevented her from withdrawing the money.
George Stepney of Warwickshire Police said: “If you need work doing to your house, or if you need to contact a tradesperson, always ask friends or neighbours if they can recommend anyone that has done work for them which they have been satisfied with.
“Alternatively look in a local trades directory, and ask the trader for the names of people they have completed work for, so you can check on the quality and cost of the work.
“Always ask for identification from the caller. Make sure you get written quotes for the work from at least three people and never pay large sums of money up-front before any work is undertaken. If it is a large job, arrangements to pay at staged intervals during the work may be agreed, before they start work. Always pay by cheque and get a receipt for the payment.
“And never agree to having work done with someone who cold calls at your home. Even if they say they can do it cheaper than anyone else, it is likely to end up costing you more in other ways.“
Anyone with any information about bogus callers or rogue traders is asked to contact Warwickshire Police on the new non-emergency number 101 or to contact Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.
Warwickshire Care and Repair offer a Handyperson Scheme that provides small essential repairs at the cost of materials, a free home safety check and installation of appropriate security devices (some restrictions apply). Please phone to see if you are eligible:
Rugby District Care and Repair: (01788) 533867
Home Safety: (01788) 533867