Bogus tree workers con pensioner out of £400
A VULNERABLE pensioner was conned out of almost £400 by unscrupulous workmen — for gardening work they failed to complete.
Dorothy Mercer, from Eagley, wanted to carry out gardening improvements but was unable to because of a knee injury.
The 69-year-old also cares for her ill husband, Alick, and when two men knocked on her door and offered to carry out the work she agreed.
They told Mrs Mercer a large tree in her front garden needed cutting back and she told them a similar tree in her back garden also needed pruning.
But then the pair demanded more money before disappearing with barely any of the work done and Mr Mercer’s garden in a mess.
She said: “They offered to do the whole job for £220 including taking all the debris away — which seemed reasonable.”
But after chopping the tree in the back garden, the two men told Mrs Mercer the work at the front of her home would cost a further £160 — which the pensioner paid.
Mrs Mercer said: “I thought I was the last person in the world to get duped and I presumed they needed money for materials, so I paid them up front — now I feel stupid and angry.”
She was handed a crumpled receipt, littered with spelling errors — and that was the last she saw of the pair.
It is thought the pair had got hold of the receipt from a legitimate firm, who are based in Sheffield and had nothing to do with the work and do not operate in Bolton Director of Sheffield based UK Roofing and Building, Alfred Milner said: “These people have absolutely nothing to do with our firm. We are based in Sheffield and currently have no employees working in the Bolton area so they are not working for us.
“I would very much like to know where they got their hands on our company invoice forms.”
Thankfully, Damian Walsh of Eagley Bank Tree and Garden services, came to Mr and Mrs Mercer’s rescue.
He had been called by the two men, who asked if he would do the work that they had failed to complete — they then told him to invoice Mrs Mercer for work she had already paid for.
Mr Walsh said: “I thought something wasn’t right and I had to tell Mrs Mercer that she had been conned, she was very upset.”
He has now agreed to do the work for a substantially discounted price.
A spokesperson for Trading Standards: “We advise all residents never to deal with unknown traders who cold call unexpectedly. Never let strangers in your house and never pay up front for work before it is done. If you are unsure just shut the door.”
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