Warning after Rogue Traders Target Vulnerable Victim in Billingham
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Police are reminding people of the dangers of rogue traders after an elderly man was scammed out of £700 in Billingham.
The incident occurred on Friday 4th September when two men approached the victims address in the Knole Road area and offered to cut the hedge in his garden for £200.
After they completed this work they then offered to replace the hedge which they claimed was dying for a further £500 and they would return the next day to complete the work.
The victim gave the men the cash but they did not return to complete the work.
The men are described as being white males in their late 30s and they had a local Middlesbrough accent. They were driving a white transit van with the words ‘Oakley’ written on the side.
Officers are reminding members of the public of the steps they can take when unexpected callers come to the door:
- Get into the habit of checking who is at the door. If you’re not expecting anyone, consider whether you should answer the door at all.
- Use a door viewer (spy hole) or shout through the letterbox.
- Consider fitting one of the many doorbell type cameras available. Some of these systems providers charge a monthly fee for a subscription service, for storing images, so check out the various types and reviews before you buy.
- If you can, go to a window and deal with visitors there, as it’s a lot easier to dismiss unwanted callers from the safety of your home.
- If you do decide to open the door – use the chain or a door bar.
- Don’t keep savings or other large amounts of money in your home - use a bank or building society.
- Ask to see identification that you can verify by phoning the company using a number in a phone directory – it is not advisable to use the one they give you as it may be bogus.
- Remember – if you’re not sure – say ‘no thank you’ and don’t open the door!
If you have any information regarding the men responsible contact Cleveland Police on 101 quoting 145182.
Crimestoppers can be contacted anonymously on 0800 555 111 or online at: www.crimestoppers-uk.org.