Norfolk woman, 90, duped into spending thousands of pounds on “green” products

Solar panels on home

Solar panels on home - Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

Watchdogs helped to claw back more than £10,000 for a 90-year-old Norfolk woman who was duped into spending thousands of pounds on 'green products'.

Norfolk Trading Standards officers took action after a relative of the pensioner contacted them because they were concerned about the amount of money she had been spending with the company, who were from outside Norfolk.

Trading Standards found the company persuaded the vulnerable woman, whose identity is not being revealed, to part with more than £17,000 on work since 2013.

She was persuaded to buy products such as solar panels, an 'off grid box', which the company claimed would supply lighting to the home if there was a power cut, and £1,420 for a 15-year warranty for parts and labour for a boiler.

On one occasion, she was driven to a bank to withdraw money to pay for products.

Brian Chatten, community safety and fair trading manager for Norfolk Trading Standards, said: 'We believe what happened was that somebody came and convinced the lady that she needed her roof washing. Now, nobody needs their roof washed, but that enabled them to spot that she was vulnerable. We believe her details were then marketed and she was targeted by this company.

'There was an investigation because, when we have got somebody targeting vulnerable people, we will go after them. In this case, it was felt the individual would not have stood the court process.'

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But Trading Standards did force the company, which it has not named, to refund £10,414.

Mr Chatten added: 'The message we would like to get out is that friends and relatives of older people do need to keep an eye on them in case of rogue traders and people who would take advantage of them.'

To report a matter to Trading Standards, contact the Citizens Advice consumer helpline on 03454 04 05 06.

Have Trading Standards helped you? Call Dan Grimmer on 01603 772375 or email dan.grimmer@archant.co.uk