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Rogue trader preys on elderly man

Published on: 06 Oct 2017

POLICE are hunting a rogue trader after a Hanham man in his 80s was persuaded to pay over the odds for having a single roof tile repaired.
The gentleman had just returned to his home in Whittucks Road at around 1pm on Saturday September 9 when he was approached by a man who said that a roof tile needed repair. He was persuaded to have the work done there and then.
After doing about 20 minutes’ work the man demanded immediate payment in cash. The gentleman was shocked by the amount charged and the incident was reported to police the following day.
The man was described as white, aged 25 to 30, and about 5ft 9ins tall. He was driving a white or silver van or estate car with two ladders on the roof.
Neighbourhood beat manager PC Andy Cox said: “We’ve visited this gentleman and given him some crime prevention advice and our Bobby Van carpenter has made some improvements to his home security.
"We’d like to hear from anyone with information which could help our enquiries into this incident."
Anyone who can help is asked to get in touch online, or by calling 101, quoting reference 5217208221.
Police say this sort of doorstep crime, where householders are conned into having work done, often unnecessarily or at excessive cost, can be prevented and have issued the following advice:
• If someone you care about is vulnerable and needs work done on their home or garden, help them to get quotes from reputable tradespeople
• Remember, it’s ok to say no. It’s your doorstep, your decision. Don’t let any unknown and unexpected visitor inside. Deal with them through a window or use a door chain
• If you’re not sure, don’t open the door
• You’re legally entitled to a ‘cooling off’ period before work starts – and failure to provide a notice of cancellation rights is a criminal offence
• Never give cash upfront
• Keep your money in the bank, not at home
• If you feel threatened or intimidated, close the door and call 999 straight away
•  If you or someone you know has been targeted by scammers or rogue traders, report it to Trading Standards through Citizens’ Advice on 03453 04 05 06
• For more advice on how to avoid falling victim to a doorstep con, including setting up a No Cold Calling Zone, visit http://www.southglos.gov.uk/business/trading-standards/consumer-advice/doorstep-selling/
• If you or someone you know is the victim of a crime and the offenders are still in the area call 999. If you’ve had a caller you’re suspicious of then let police know on 101 straight away.

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