A BOGUS caller tried to con an elderly home-owner out of £10,000 in Chester, claiming the man was responsible for drainage issues on the street.
The incident has led police to issue a fresh warning to residents to be on their guard and warn vulnerable neighbours and family members to be wary of door-to-door tradesmen.
A man called at a house in Chester at about 5pm on Wednesday, claiming to be from a drainage company.
He informed the elderly occupant there was a drainage problem in the area which he had traced to his house and a £10,000 returnable deposit was required.
A police spokesman said: “If you are approached by someone claiming to be carrying out repair work on local drainage you can contact your local water company, who will be able to determine if there is a genuine issue.”
The constabulary has issued the following advice:
o Always ask callers for proof of identity. Genuine tradesmen should carry an identification card with their photograph on. Check this carefully. If you are unsure, phone the company the caller claims to represent.
o If you are not convinced of the identity of the caller, don’t let them in. Ask the caller to come back later and arrange for a friend, relative or neighbour to be present or ask the caller to contact this person.
o Never pay large amounts of money up front.
o Ensure elderly friends, neighbours or relatives are aware of possible scams.
o If you are planning repair work to your property, always get a number of different quotes.
o Beware of callers who attempt to distract you by claiming they have seen something untoward in your rear garden or somewhere which may encourage you to leave your house – they may have an accomplice awaiting this distraction.
The spokesman added: “If you are approached by anyone in similar circumstances, asking for a large deposit, contact trading standards or call Cheshire police on 101.”