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Garstang pensioner targeted by rogue traders as scams warning issued during lockdown

Posted on - 23rd April, 2020 - 8:17am | Author - | Posted in - Broughton, Crime, Preston News
The lady in her 80s was charged an obscene amount of an hour's work trimming back a conifer Pic: Pixabay
The lady in her 80s was charged an obscene amount of an hour’s work trimming back a conifer Pic: Pixabay

A pensioner in Garstang has been targeted by rogue traders.

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Lancashire County Council has issued warnings about a number of scams since lockdown began.

A lady in her 80s received a flyer offering gardening services.

Within 10 minutes of her contacting the traders they arrived at her home.

With no time to think, and after just over an hour of work done, they charged her £750 for cutting back a conifer.

Cabinet member for technical services, rural affairs and waste management county councillor Albert Atkinson said: “There’s no limit to what these rogue traders will do, whether it’s posing as gasman or charging you a fortune for small or badly done repairs.

“You don’t have to buy anything from a cold-caller who knocks on your door. Our advice is to always say no and do your research. Recommendations from friends and family are a good way to find a trader as is our Safe Trader website.

“Our Trading Standards team does a superb job of tackling these companies and helping people who have been targeted. Contact them via our Citizen’s Advice Consumer Helpline if you need support.”

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Trading Standards have also had reports of online and telephone scams.

One involves callers offering warranties for white goods. Often the callers can be persistent, repeatedly calling the householder and once they have agreed to a warranty, can be targeted by other similar calls. In one case, a man suffering with dementia had given his bank card details to several of these companies, paying around £90 each time. In another case a customer had paid £1,800.

Be wary of telephone scams where the caller states you can claim money back for previously paid investments.

A Lancashire resident in Clitheroe who had paid out £18,000 for a Bitcoin investment over three years ago received a telephone call from a scam company. The caller claimed they had been ordered by the bank to refund her the investment money. They claimed they needed her bank account details and would also need a payment from her of £2,000.

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How to stay safe from scammers

The Safe Trader scheme can help you find a trader in your area, contact 0303 333 1111 or go to www.safetrader.org.uk.

To reduce telesales calls, join the Telephone Preference Service on 03450700707.

To report any scams or rogue traders, contact Lancashire Trading Standards via the Citizens Advice Consumer Helpline on 08082231133.

Read more: See the latest Preston news and headlines

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