Reminder to be rogue trader wise after Swanwick woman tricked into gardening work

Alert message sent 13/10/2020 16:56:00

Information sent on behalf of Derbyshire Constabulary


We’re reminding residents to be alert to doorstep callers and rogue traders after a 70 year old Swanwick woman handed over hundreds of pounds for gardening work.

It’s after two men called at the woman’s home on Saturday 10 October allegedly claiming to be from the council.

They told her they’d received complaints about her garden, that she needed to pay them hundreds of pounds for the work and they would return in a few days to complete it.

A neighbour contacted us as she was concerned that the men were not genuine.

PC Ruth Platts, of the local Safer Neighbourhood policing team, said: “We strongly advise local residents not to agree to work by any strangers who turn up at your doorstep unannounced and offering to carry out repairs to your property. Council officials and other agencies would not operate in this way, so be particularly alert to any excuses they offer.

“If you do think that work is needed then contact a few reputable companies and get a few quotes first. If they claim to be from an organisation such as the council make sure you contact them on a separate number to one they provide to check out their story.”

"Remember that you do not have to open your door to cold callers, and if you don’t recognise the person then don’t open the door. If they are selling something or offering to do any work on your house or garden, tell them through a locked, closed door that you are not interested and ask them to leave. If they persist tell them you will call the police.”

When dealing with a cold caller residents should:

Check the identity of any caller. Confirm who they are by calling the company they work for using number from the telephone directory or a bill.
Ask a neighbour to come around to check them before you open the door. Tell them to come back at a time when someone will be at home with you.
Before answering the front door, make sure your back door and any windows are locked and closed.
Use the door chain every time you answer the door.
PC Platts added: “I would like to offer my thanks to the neighbour who reported their concerns, and encourage people to look out for their neighbours, friends and relatives; make them aware of the issue and our advice.

“If notice anything suspicious in your neighbourhood please contact us as soon as you can, and pass as many details on to officers as possible including any descriptions or details of people calling at homes or vehicles they may be using.”

If you saw two men, who are believed to have been using a small silver van, calling at homes on High Street, Swanwick, or the surrounding area, please get in touch, quoting reference number 20*535907. You can also call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

Please note in the event of an emergency you should always call 999.
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