The Lancashire Telegraph reported recently that East Lancashire residents need to be vigilant when answering the door following a rogue builder visiting the area. In the Darwen area a 77 year old lady was conned out of money at her home in Knowsley Road on Friday 9th January 2015.
The pensioner and her 80 year old husband agreed to some work being carried out on their property following a ‘builder’ calling at their house. The resident went out for a while, leaving the man to complete the jobs the couple had requested to be done. Upon her return, she was asked to pay £460 for the work he had supposedly finished. As the con man refused to accept payment via either cheque or credit card, the lady went to her bank for more funds. On returning home for a second time to meet the ‘builder’ an extra £1,000 had been added to the overall bill! As the couple refused to pay and insisted they were going to call the police, he fled the scene, leaving no receipt for the cash paid.
The pensioner stated …
“I am absolutely furious about what has happened and I wish to inform others so that the same thing does not happen to them.”
and went on to say …
“I wish I had shut the door in his face.”
Police are now urging anyone with any information regarding the incident to contact PC Phil Hambley on 01254 222135. He commented …
“We are investigating the matter, but we have very little to go on other than a white van.
“We did house-to-house enquiries, and we did some CCTV enquiries but unfortunately the van hasn’t been picked up.
“I would ask anybody who does have information to contact me on 01254 222135, and I would ask anyone else who has been a victim to come forward.”
Police have advised that people should not answer the door to callers that aren’t expected.
Morris Locksmiths also share this opinion – if you have a spyhole fitted you can always see who is on your doorstep and decide whether or not you want to open the door. However, if you feel you must answer the door, then always do so using a security chain and ask to see the caller’s official ID. Ask the person to pass the card to you through the gap and then shut the door whilst you verify the visitor. You can do this by either calling the company stated on the card (Utilities company etc) or by calling your local police station.