Alleged rogue builders scam Clapton pensioner out of thousands of pounds
- Credit: Holly Chant
Residents are being urged to “be vigilant” after a 70-year-old Clapton resident fell victim to a property scam.
Last week, Hackney Trading Standards and police officers attended the elderly victim’s home after receiving a complaint through a ward councillor about a group of builders.
The builders had taken several thousand pounds of the resident’s money “upfront,” overcharged for work and requested over £20,000 for “extra jobs” they had “found”.
Cllr Caroline Selman, Cabinet Member for Community Safety, Policy and the Voluntary Sector said: “Thanks to the work of our trading standards officers and the police, this resident has saved a considerable amount of money and damage to his property.
“However, that does not take away from the emotional impact these scams have on their victims.”
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The council said Trading Standards officers arrived at the house to find the builders “hacking plaster from the top floor.”
They then dialled 999 for additional police support to help deal with the alleged rogue traders.
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Some of the men fled whilst the manager, when challenged, became abusive and contested that he had not done anything wrong, the council reported.
Previous complaints about the builder were revealed to Trading Standards officers when checks were carried out using the national Rogue Trader Intelligence database.
Cllr Selman added: “Our officers are continuing to support this resident, and are urging everyone to be vigilant and follow trading standards advice.
“If you have an elderly or vulnerable family member, we also ask that you keep an eye out for any rogue traders that may be trying to take advantage of their situation.”
Residents are being warned, by Hackney Council and the police, to consider quotes and whether they seem overpriced.
They also urge people to be wary when asked to pay money upfront and to use vetting sites to find reputable traders.
Homeowners and businesses who believe they have been a victim of this type of scam can call the Citizens Advice consumer helpline on 03454 040 506.
Further advice on scams can be found by visiting www.hackney.gov.uk/watch-out-for-scams