A pair of suspected rogue traders have been arrested thanks to the bravery of an elderly woman in Fulwood.Advertisement
The men, who have not been named, targeted the OAP telling her she needed work doing on her home.
At the start of the work they quoted £300 but as the men carried out the repairs, they identified firther work and the woman was persuaded to hand over £3,000.
Undeterred, police say the men continued to intimidate the pensioner and told her she would need to take out a bank loan for another £2,000.
But the woman became suspicious and reported the men to Lancashire Trading Stadards, who alerted police.
The woman’s swift thinking led to the men being located and arrested, while she was given advice and safeguarding measures were put in place.
Supt Karen Edwards said: “The community will not tolerate individuals who show a distinct lack of humanity towards our most vulnerable.
“When I heard of this incident I was disgusted and wanted to ensure the lady knew she had the full support of Preston Police and Lancashire County Council Trading Standards Service.
“It is important that we work with others to safeguard this vulnerable lady, who has shown immense bravery. Also it was imperative that these offenders were quickly located and arrested and brought to justice.
“The joint police and Trading Standards investigation is ongoing and I’d like to offer crime prevention advice, to prevent other similar instances.”
Amanda Maxim, trading standards manager for Lancashire County Council, said: “This is an awful case which was very frightening for the lady involved. She did exactly the right thing in contacting us.
“It’s tremendous that the police acted so quickly to arrest these rogue traders. Cold callers use every trick in the book to get people to spend too much money on low quality work.
“Once people have agreed to the job these people charge for work that isn’t needed, increase costs of the work or use threatening tactics to get people to withdraw more money.
“Unfortunately, reports of this type of incident are coming in thick and fast at the moment. Another incident reported to Trading Standards earlier in the week resulted in officers helping an elderly gentleman avoiding paying out £14,000 for unnecessary work.
“Our advice is to always say no to cold callers and use services such as our Lancashire Safe Trader scheme to find a reputable trader to carry out the work.”
Have you been targeted by rogue traders? Let us know in the comments section.