Beware of Bogus Tree Surgeons
Recently, the issue of bogus workmen conning residents out of large amounts of money for pruning trees in their gardens, was highlighted on television, with an example shown in Romford. This is one of the many ways that criminals try to trick people (particularly the elderly) into paying for services they don’t need.
One example in our area some time ago, was of four men who appeared at the end of someone’s garden, claiming to be tree surgeons working for his neighbour. They said they needed to cut the man’s trees back because they were encroaching into the neighbour’s garden. After cutting some branches they told the man that he would have to pay several thousand pounds for the work and refused to leave until he did. Unfortunately, the resident felt so intimidated that he paid the money.
Havering Trading Standards give the following advice of what to look out for –
- An unexpected telephone call, visit to your home, letter, email or text.
- The company isn’t already known to you.
- Money is asked to be paid or sent in advance.
- A quick response is asked for, when it is not necessary.
- Any request for the transaction to be kept secret.
- You are asked to hand over bank and other personal details.
Havering Trading Standards have their own ‘Find an approved trader‘ website, which can be accessed via this link.
If you think you have been a victim of fraud then you should report it online to Action Fraud or by telephone on 0300 123 2040.
Advice is also available from Citizens Advice. Visit their scams webpage or call their consumer helpline on 03454 040 506.