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Preston and Bamber Bridge residents targeted by ‘Covid conmen’

Posted on - 16th October, 2020 - 4:00pm | Author - | Posted in - Bamber Bridge, Crime, Preston City Centre, Preston News
Lancashire County Council Hall
Lancashire County Council Pic: Stephen McKay

Residents in Preston and Bamber Bridge are being warned by Lancashire County Council to stay alert as Lancashire is targeted by scammers.

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One Preston resident received a cold call from a man claiming he was disinfecting the outside of houses because of the Covid-19 pandemic on behalf of the council.

After sending the scammer away several times, the householder eventually allowed him in and he stole a purse.

Read more: Preston risked becoming an ‘island’ in tier-three negotiations claims city leader

Lancashire trading standards warn that people should always be suspicious of anyone calling and claiming to be from the council and should ask for ID and check with the council if not expecting a visit.

On another occasion, a woman in Bamber Bridge was cold called and agreed to work resurfacing her driveway for £3,700 cash.

Unfortunately, all the trader did was paint the driveway black and disputed the money received claiming they had only charged £400.

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Trading standards advice is to avoid cold callers, always use local known traders and get paperwork including full contact details.

County Councillor Albert Atkinson, cabinet member for technical services, rural affairs and waste management, said: “It’s amazing what lengths these doorstep traders will go to.

“They come out with clever cover stories to get their hands on people’s money and as the case of the Covid disinfectant fraudster scam shows, they are relentless in their efforts, sometimes coming back time and time again until they get what they want.

“Always say no to cold callers, use local known traders and use recommendation services like our Lancashire Safe Trader Scheme.

“Remember if you agree to the contract in your own home, you will, in most cases, have 14 days to cancel.”

Read more: These are the tier-three restrictions for Preston, South Ribble and Lancashire

Residents in Preston have also been contacted by phone by an alleged representative of Age UK Lancashire wanting to visit to see if any help could be provided.

Anyone who has received a call regarding support from Age UK Lancashire that they have not requested, should call the customer services team on 0300 3031234.

Teenagers are using messaging apps to 'pre-arrange' fights say police following the Penwortham disorder Pic: Pixabay
Residents are being warned to look out for phone scammers Pic: Pixabay

County Councillor Atkinson added: “Be wary of anyone calling purporting to be from HMRC, any government department or even organisations like Age UK.

“Bogus callers can pose as representatives from genuine organisations.

“If you are suspicious, trading standards advice is never to provide any personal information and to hang up straight away.”

To report any scams or rogue traders, contact Lancashire Trading Standards via the Citizens Advice Consumer Helpline on 0808 223 1133.

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