Trading Standards praise bank for rogue trader call

Published Thursday, 24 September 2015

Picture shows: (left to right) NatWest Manager Chris Kershaw, NatWest Regional Manager Maria Fisher, Executive Member for Public Protection and Safety Cllr Kate Lymer and PCSO Julia Smith at a Police Scam Awareness Event at the bank in Locksbottom.

Bromley Trading Standards has praised the staff at the NatWest in Locksbottom whose quick actions saved an elderly customer from losing £4,600 to a rogue trader.

Bank manager Chris Kershaw became concerned when the victim, who does not want to be named, told staff she needed to pay for some garden work. Officers from Trading Standards rapid response team attended the branch and took the consumer home.

The consumer had received a flyer through her door and called in a company to carry out minor gardening work. She was quoted £400 but on completion the trader demanded a further £4,200. The consumer said: "There were several men in my garden. I was suddenly being told the cost had gone up and felt very uncomfortable and over-whelmed. They drove me to my bank in a car, expecting me to pay them in cash. I am very grateful to the bank for helping me with this."

Executive Member for Public Protection and Safety Cllr Kate Lymer said: "This matter is under investigation by Trading Standards so I can’t go into detail, but I am very grateful to the NatWest who recognised this was a scam and reported it to our dedicated rapid response team. Our officers have worked very hard through training and raising awareness to ensure local bank staff have the opportunity to report this type of crime and this is exactly the sort of action we expect them to take. I know our officers will now do all they can to identify those responsible."

Chris Kershaw added: "We take our safeguarding responsibility very seriously and I am pleased we have been able to prevent this customer from losing a considerable sum of money to these criminals.

The victim praised the Trading Standards officers describing them as wonderful.

Rob Vale, Head of Trading Standards and Community Safety said: We have seen an increase in bogus property repairs lately, both by cold callers and where residents have responded to flyers through their doors. I would urge consumers not to accept offers of property maintenance or repairs on their doorstep and always get at least two quotes. They should check the business has a legitimate address and ideally be part of an approved trader scheme.

The Trading Standards Rapid Response Team can be contacted on 07903 852090

Picture shows: (left to right) NatWest Manager Chris Kershaw, NatWest Regional Manager Maria Fisher, Executive Member for Public Protection and Safety Cllr Kate Lymer and PCSO Julia Smith at a Police Scam Awareness Event at the bank in Locksbottom.