Good samaritan saves elderly man from rogue roof traders

Published Friday, 12 April 2019

A vulnerable elderly man has been a victim of roof traders attempting to overcharge him for work done, before a stranger intercepted outside Esso garage on Westmoreland Road, Bromley on 19 March 2019.

The stranger reported the elderly man appearing “bewildered” when he noticed the door of a transit van opening with a man leaning out whistling to beckon the older man to get into the van.

Councillor Kate Lymer, Executive Councillor for Public Protection and Enforcement said “It is sad that individuals can see a vulnerable person in the community and use it as an opportunity to take advantage of them. If you know someone who is older and potentially vulnerable, please inform them of this unfortunate incident. It is important to be extremely cautious of these dishonest and fraudulent rogue traders and not to be taken in by them, but if you do suspect someone is being scammed, call our Trading Standards Team and we will always investigate. If we work together, hopefully we can prevent future incidents from happening”.

The elderly man explained to the anonymous citizen that he owed the roof traders money for repairing his roof and that they were taking him to a cash machine, however that ATM was currently out of order. The good samaritan confronted the men in the transit van, managing to persuade the older man to be taken home by him with the roof traders meeting them at his house to sort the outstanding payment. Unsuspectingly, the van men arrived at the elderly man’s house to be met with the police and Bromley Council’s Trading Standards Officers as a result of the good samaritan informing them of the situation. It was discovered that the work men were attempting to overcharge the elderly man for the roof repairs done. The men were not arrested, however a fairer price was agreed and the matter was resolved.

Residents are being reminded to be aware of these rogue traders and remain vigilant to ensure that you do not fall victim to a scam. Rogue traders take advantage of others, especially those in a more vulnerable position through fraudulent statements in attempts to trick people out of their money and overcharge for unnecessary work. If you believe someone is a victim of a scam and you need urgent advice, call our Rapid Response Team hotline on 07903 852 090.

Visit www.bromley.gov.uk/tradingstandards to find advice on rogue traders, scams and how to avoid being a victim of these crimes

ENDS

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