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Pensioner scammed out of £6000 urges others to beware

A pensioner from Oxfordshire has been telling ITV Meridian how she was conned out of more than £6000 by a bogus workman.

Dorothy Dainton was approached by the man at her home in Yarnton offering to do repairs on her roof.

She ended up paying him in cash. Now she's warning others not to fall victim to the same scam. Kate Bunkall reports.

Pensioner conned out of £6000 by rogue trader

The work carried out on Dorothy's home had to be fixed by a reputable trader Credit: ITV Meridian

A pensioner from Oxfordshire is warning people to be on their guard after she was conned out of more than £6000.

Dorothy Dainton from Yarnton spotted the builder doing work on her neighbours property, and asked him to fix some things for her.

The work was so bad, it had to be fixed by a reputable trader.

Dorothy contacted Trading Standards for help, who carried out an investigation.

Tom Mobey from Didcot was jailed for ten months last week.

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Fighting back against rogue traders

Millions of pounds are being paid out on doorsteps by unsuspecting residents, to rogue traders.

Targeting the elderly, they intimidate their victims into handing over money for shoddy or non-existent work.

Now, Trading Standards are fighting back, with a scheme designed to encourage people to watch out for their neighbours.

ITV Meridian spoke to Martin Woodley from Trading Standards.

Elderly charged thousands by rogue traders

After a number of rogue trader incidents, one of which an elderly woman handed over £5000 cash, Hampshire officers are asking people to look out for elderly and vulnerable neighbours.

Detectives are looking into a number of incidents where elderly members of the public were charge large amounts of money for roofing work that was not needed, and then driven to banks to withdraw cash.

Throughout February and March, incidents included:

  • An 80 year old woman charged £4900 in Windsor.
  • A couple in their 80s charged £4700 in Aldershot. They were going to be driven to the bank by the workmen to withdraw a further £5000 but neighbours intervened.
  • A 79 year old woman charged £5000 in Camberley.
  • A 69 year old man was quoted £10,000 but only paid out £4000 in Farnborough.
  • An 84 year old woman from Basingstoke was driven to the bank to withdraw £4000 but an off duty member of police staff intervened.

Police are advising that you should ask for a written quote, not to pay upfront and to pay by cheque or credit card rather than cash.

Anyone with concerns about rogue traders should call the Safer Neighbourhoods team by calling 101.

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Villagers warned about rogue traders

Police are advising residents to beware of rogue traders who may be operating in part of Kent. There have been reports in the Dymchurch and Littlestone areas, that people have been knocking on residents’ doors without invitation and offering to fix and renovate roofs of properties.

In one incident it was reported that two men offered their roofing service after claiming they had used a helicopter to check which buildings required new loft insulation. Kent Police would urge residents to take the following steps to make sure they are protected from rogue traders:

Do not deal with doorstep callers offering work on your home or gardenMake checks that the tradesperson is from the company they say they are fromAlways get written quotes and compare them to prices elsewhere

Trading Standards warn of burglar alarm scam

Kent County Council Trading Standards have been made aware of a business telephoning residents in the Ashford area offering the householder a free burglar alarm.

Officers say the caller seems to know a lot of information about the people they call and ask questions about their security arrangements. The business also claims that their product is endorsed by the Police. It is not usual practice for the Police to give such products their endorsement.

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Kent Trading Standards does not recommend agreeing to any work following a cold call. Few jobs are so urgent that they need immediate action. Previous experience is that burglar alarms that are offered for free or at a low price often have a maintenance and monitoring contract attached to them which is not free and can, in some instances, be both expensive and last several years

– Kent Trading Standards

Rogue traders warning issued

Hampshire residents are being warned of rogue traders in their area after an elderly woman in Lee-on-the-Solent was targeted. The 83-year-old was convinced that she needed work completed on her garden by a man who called at her house.

On a return call to the victim's house, the man drove the victim to the bank where she drew out £1,700 to pay for the work - far more than the work warranted.

"I would like to speak to anyone in the local area that has had cold callers from landscaping or gardening businesses who behaved suspiciously or used pressuring tactics in an attempt to obtain money for work not required or completed. If you are concerned about people who call at your home then you should contact the police or Trading Standards."

– Detective Constable Chris Davies, Fareham and Gosport CID

Police have issued the following guidelines to guard against rogue traders:

  • Take advice from family and friends to check if work is needed.
  • Always obtain several quotes and make sure the quote you accept is in writing.
  • Keep an eye on vulnerable relatives, friends or neighbours and help them to find reliable trades people if they have work that needs to be undertaken.
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