Linslade pensioner leads fraudster into Trading Standards trap

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News

A Linslade pensioner turned the tables on a fraudster when she became concerned by a phone call she had received from a trader.

The 84-year-old resident became apprehensive when the caller told her that they were from a loft insulation company and pressured her into agreeing to having a home survey carried out, allegedly claiming that it was now a Government requirement that she have the work done.

But the pensioner enlisted the help of Central Bedfordshire Council’s Trading Standards Team, and when the “surveyor” knocked on the her door the next day, they were in for a shock when it was answered by a Trading Standards Officer from the council.

The “surveyor” did not seem keen on answering any questions and rapidly lost interest in conducting any survey. Claiming to have unexpected family issues, he made his excuses and quickly left.

During the investigation the council’s Trading Standards Officers obtained a number of documents used by the company, which will be examined for compliance with current Trading Standards legislation.

They have also spoken to the Managing Director of the company, which is based on the south coast, and will be making further enquiries about offences that the company may have committed.

Ahead of national Scams Awareness Month 2018 starting on 1 June, Councillor Ian Dalgarno, Executive Member for Community Services at Central Bedfordshire Council, said: “This lady did really well in alerting us once she realised this could be a scam – she even then played her part in allowing us to catch them in the act.

“I would urge residents to be on their guard if they receive an unexpected telephone call or home visit by a trader who makes claims about any type of home survey requirements.

“We would advise residents not to agree to any work following an unsolicited visit by a trader, or to feel pressured or intimidated.”

If you have concerns about whether any work needs doing or not, contact other reputable local traders or members of the council’s Trading Standards Approved Scheme for their opinion and obtain at least three quotes before agreeing to the work.

If you have any concerns about a potential rogue trader or would like to report an incident, contact the team by emailing trading.standards@centralbedfordshire.gov.uk or contact the council’s Trading Standards Team on 03454 04 05 06.