Rogue roofers warning after victims conned out of thousands of pounds
PUBLISHED: 15:12 21 July 2020 | UPDATED: 16:06 21 July 2020
ARCHANT NORFOLK PHOTOGRAPHIC © 2007
Rogue roofers conned three victims out of almost £20,000, after turning up on doorsteps and telling them that work needed to be done on their homes.
The conmen have been knocking on doors in and around Norwich to tell people that they had “seen problems” with their homes, including cracked and unsafe chimneys and that urgent repairs were needed.
People in Hellesdon, Sprowston and Catton were last week pressured into agreeing to have work done, because they were led to believe their chimneys could fall down.
After quoting prices of several thousand pounds and completing a small amount of work, claims were then made that more issues had been found, and the price for the job increased dramatically.
At that point, the fraudsters said they needed payment in full, to buy materials or hire equipment. But, once the money was handed over, they left the work incomplete and never returned.
All the incidents happened on or around Wednesday, July 15. An elderly man was tricked out of £12,000, another man out of £5,000 and a couple lost £2,000.
The scam has prompted Norfolk Trading Standards to issue a warning for people to beware of the rogue traders, having previously issued an alert about the men about other attempts they had made to trick householders.
Two of the three men were in their mid-twenties and are believed to be using a white Ford Transit, which has ladders on the roof.
Margaret Dewsbury, Norfolk County Council cabinet member for communities and partnerships, said: “It is disgusting that as we are coming out of lockdown, so too are the unscrupulous fraudsters trying to scam people in our communities.
“Last week the fraudsters struck near Norwich but they could be moving to other areas of Norfolk, so I’m urging people to be on the lookout.
“The simple message is that we should never agree to have work done by somebody who is ‘just passing’ or take their word that the work needs to be done at all.
“Our Norfolk County Council Trading Standards team recommends that we should only deal with reputable companies you have researched and chosen yourself to work on your home.”
Anyone who sees the cold callers should call the Citizens Advice consumer helpline on 0808 223 1133 or Norfolk police on 101.
If you feel intimidated, or see these cold callers and are concerned for vulnerable neighbours, call 999.
What should and shouldn’t you do?
Norfolk County Council Trading Standards always advise to:
NEVER deal with cold callers
NEVER agree to have work done by somebody who is ‘just passing’ or is ‘working at a neighbours’
NEVER allow a cold caller access to your home, roof or gardens even if they are offering to do tasks for a small fee or free
NEVER pay for work before it is completed
ALWAYS deal with reputable companies you have researched and chosen yourself and get a written quote first
Looking for a Trader you can Trust? Try a Norfolk Trusted Trader. To search the directory and read feedback from their customers visit www.norfolk.gov.uk/trustedtrader
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