Rogue trader warning after pensioner scammed out of £4,000

Trading standards officers today warned people to be on the look-out for rogue traders after an Aberdeen pensioner was scammed out of £4,000.

The woman, who is in her late 70s, answered her door to a cold caller last weekend who asked if she wanted the gutters cleaned on her house for £60 which she agreed to.

The rogue trader went up on to her roof and removed slates so the resident felt she had no option but to go ahead with the work. He told the pensioner she needed £7,500 of work carried out and accompanied her to a bank where she withdrew £4,000 and gave it to him.

The rogue trader took the £4,000 ‘for materials’ and was going to return later for the rest of the money however a family member intervened and called the police and the rogue trader did not return. In addition, the resident’s gutters were not cleaned.

The incident is being investigated by trading standards officers under the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008 and the Consumer Contracts (Information, Cancellation and Additional Charges) Regulations 2013.

Aberdeen City Council trading standards manager Graeme Paton said: “This was a despicable action to a vulnerable pensioner who lives on her own being scammed out of thousands of pounds for work on her house which wasn’t needed.

“We’d always advise people to protect themselves from doorstep crime by if they’re not sure who is there, do not open the door.

“We’d also advise to use a door chain to check who’s calling, don’t trade on the doorstep, ask a friend or family member for advice on traders they can trust, display a ‘no cold callers’ sticker on your door, and always report any suspicious activity.”

Anyone wanting advice or to report any suspicious activity can contact trading standards officers on 03000 200 292, or tradingstandards@aberdeencity.gov.uk. Police Scotland can be contacted on 101 or 999 in an emergency.