Trading Standards scam warning

Published Friday, 1 July 2016

In the run up to National Scam Month in July, Bromley Trading Standards are alerting residents following a number of scams reported this week.

Trading Standards are reminding residents that scams can take place in many different ways, both by ‘cold calling’ either over the telephone or in person on the doorstep. The scam will always appear credible and plausible and the official advice is to treat all approaches with extreme caution. 

“Quite often, someone has been successful throughout their adult life and naturally thinks that they are sufficiently aware not to be taken in. But our experience shows that it is all too easy for anyone to be fooled by these highly plausible people. We want to protect Bromley residents and we would advise residents not to feel intimidated and most probably to politely refuse whatever deal is being offered. Do remember that help is at hand, with our Trading Standards team or the Police able to respond if needed” said Councillor Kate Lymer, Executive Councillor for Public Protection and Safety.

Trading Standards are reminding residents to: 

  • be suspicious
  • never deal on the doorstep
  • never be pressured into making quick decisions
  • never give personal or bank details to anyone 

The three scams which have come to the attention of the Trading Standards team in the last week alone are:

  • Bromley residents receiving telephone calls from a company claiming to be working with Bromley Council and offering to assist with previous accidents or insurance claims. One 90 year old resident received repeated calls from the company, calling themselves Accident Investigation Service, telling him he had been awarded £3,000 in compensation for an accident in the borough and that he would have to pay £200 in cash in order to claim it.  
  • A Bromley resident paying thousands of pounds for bogus property repairs. The consumer, an older female, was ‘cold called’ by two men claiming to be working on the property next door and who told her there were significant damp problems in the loft. She was asked to pay several thousand pounds for the hire of essential equipment in order that ‘emergency repairs’ could be conducted. She was later told the work was no longer necessary and she would be refunded, but in order to do so a further payment would be required for financial regulations. Trading Standards were alerted to the incident when the resident went to her bank to make further cash withdrawals. 
  • A tree company persuading an 80 year old male in Petts Wood to part with money for gardening work. An initial payment of £400 was made and the gang were due to return the following day to collect a further £1,100. The family of the resident alerted Trading Standards who attended and confronted the gang, who then ran off. They were driving a lorry with the words “Local Tree Services”. 

All of these incidents are currently being investigated and if witnesses do have information which could help, they should contact the Council’s Trading Standards team. 

Concerned residents can also report suspicious activity in their area by calling the Trading Standards rapid response number 07903 852090. 

ENDS 

For media enquiries, please contact Andrew Rogers, Communications Executive, on 020 8461 7670 or email andrew.rogers@bromley.gov.uk