Beware bogus builder scam Shortlands – March 2016

Trading Standards are warning residents to be on their guard for bogus builders following 2 attempts to scam residents. A 70 year old man reported he was cold called by a male who he described as aged about 40, overweight, over 5’9” tall who said he was from a company which was an off shoot of Dynorod. The man told the consumer there was a problem with sewers at the rear of his property and gained access to the back ​garden to check a manhole.

The man then produced a mobile phone and told the resident to speak to “the boss”. A man named David Pearce told him to check his toilets. On doing so, the consumer found one of the toilets was almost overflowing with clean water and there was a lot of toilet paper round the top of the bowl. At this point, the resident realised he was being scammed and told the man to leave. It was evident someone had gained access to his home while he was in the garden.

A second report came from Natwest in Bromley when a 78 year old Shortlands woman went into the branch looking to withdraw £5,800 for building work. When bank staff asked her about the work, the customer said she was stopped in the street by a man who said he was digging up the pavement in her street and needed to check her drains. She allowed him into her house to check the drains and on being asked to check her toilet she discovered it was blocked. The man said he needed to hire a machine to clear the blockage and asked for £5,800 in cash, which he said, would be refunded when the work was complete.

Trading Standards are urging residents to report any incidents of cold calling for property repairs and to keep a look out for any vulnerable neighbours.

Referrals may be made via the Trading Standards Rapid response Number on 07903 852090.

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