Bank staff stop elderly couple losing £6,000 to rogue traders
PUBLISHED: 12:51 04 February 2020 | UPDATED: 13:27 04 February 2020
Sharp-eyed staff at a Suffolk bank stopped an elderly couple from losing more than £6,000 to rogue traders who claimed they needed a new roof.
Suffolk Trading Standards said the incident happened yesterday, when known rogue traders called at a home in Hadleigh and offered to put netting up around the solar panels on the couple's roof.
A sum of £600 was agreed for the work but once on the roof, the traders advised the couple that they had found substantial damage - including crumbling felt and damaged tiles.
The couple were told a new roof was needed and it would cost £11,500.
The homeowners did not agree to the price and so the price was reduced to £7,500.
A total of £1,200 was paid in cash to the traders and the couple made arrangements to go to the bank to withdraw the remaining money from TSB in Hadleigh.
But staff at the bank intervened and declined the request and called trading standards.
Officers attended the couple's home and the contract has now been assigned to trading standards.
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The traders have been told they will not be receiving any further money from the couple.
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Suffolk Trading Standards said it is aware of the rogue traders, who have been spotted driving around in the Hadleigh/Sudbury area.
Officers asked to be contacted on 0808 223 1133 if the rogue traders are seen or anyone is approached.
Trading standards is now urging everyone who knows or cares for a vulnerable or elderly person to make sure they are aware of their rights when it comes to suspect doorstep approaches, and to carefully research salespeople before inviting them into their home.
Residents concerned about doorstep callers operating in their area or worried about elderly or vulnerable neighbours being targeted can contact Citizens Advice consumer helpline on 0808 223 1133.
Suffolk Trading Standards issued this advice following the incident:
- Never agree to have work done by somebody who is just passing or take their word that it needs to be done at all
- Never pay for work before it is completed
- Do not accept any offer from them to drive you to the bank to withdraw money
- If you need work done, obtain recommendations from friends or family, or visit the Checkatrade website for traders vetted by Trading Standards.