Scam warning issued after 87-year-old almost hands over £6,000 to fraudsters pretending to be council contractors
Residents across Barking and Dagenham are being urged to be cautious of con-artists and always ask for identification, after a trickster tried to scam a pensioner out of £6,000.
The 87-year-old resident was almost fooled into handing over the money after being told by the fraudster that he was working on behalf of Barking and Dagenham Council, and the money would be used to pay for scaffolding to be put up outside their home.
A taxi was sent to the victim’s home to take him to the bank, however, a vigilant cashier questioned why the man needed to withdraw such a large amount and recognised it was a scam.
The police were called but it is believed the suspect made off before they arrived.
'A stark reminder that we all need to be more cautious'
Councillor Margaret Mullane, Cabinet Member for Enforcement and Community Safety, said: "This crook targeted a vulnerable elderly person and is a stark reminder that we all need to be more cautious about who we are dealing with on our doorstep or over the phone.
"If you are in any doubt, don’t be fazed just follow the police guidance – stop, lock, chain and check. Council staff will always have a form of identification on them and happily wait outside while you contact the council to confirm who they are."
Police investigations continue.
People are advised to be vigilant when someone:
- randomly calls at your home to carry out work without providing notice beforehand.
- has no identification to prove who they are.
- tells you they are working in the local area and noticed your property needs urgent attention and they can help.
- quotes a low price on your doorstep without looking at the work required and then charges higher prices at the end of the job.
- says they have materials left over from another job.
- calls your phone and starts asking for personal details.
If anyone has any doubt about any letter from the council, please call Trading Standards on 0208 215 3000.