Posted: 27.06.19 at 17:36 by The Editor
South Wales Police officers are reminding home owners to be vigilant when approached by people offering to carry out work on their property.
This warning follows two recent incidents in the Vale of Glamorgan and Bridgend, in which elderly women were asked to pay large sums of money to have work carried out on their property and gardens.
Police were alerted by staff at a bank branch in Barry where a woman in her 80s, had gone to withdraw a large sum of cash in order to pay builders to have her patio replaced.
Staff at the bank reported their suspicions under the Banking Protocol, a collaboration between financial institutions, the police and Trading Standards, to help protect people who may be being exploited.
The Banking Protocol enables bank branch staff to contact police if they suspect a customer is in the process of being scammed, with an immediate priority response to the branch.
Three people have been arrested on suspicion of trading standards offences and have been released under investigation.
Chief Inspector Tony Williams said: “Residents should be wary of anyone who arrives at their property unannounced and uninvited and they should always verify callers are who they say they are.
''Workers from legitimate companies will have ID and will be happy to wait outside the home while the legitimacy of that ID is checked by the resident.
“I would urge residents to keep an eye on those visiting their elderly or vulnerable neighbours. If they believe them to be suspicious in any way then I would urge them to contact police immediately.
“Taking note of descriptions or details of any vehicles being used is also recommended where possible, as this could prove extremely valuable to an investigation.”
We would urge you to remember the following advice:
• The key crime prevention message is ‘Not Sure? Don’t Open the Door!’
• Check the identity of the doorstep caller by telephoning the company they are purporting to be from. Use the telephone numbers listed in your local directory or provided independently by your service provider.
• Check whether traders are members of the Consumer Codes Approval Scheme or the Government Trust Mark scheme.
• Discuss any work you feel needs carrying out on your property with a relative or friend who can help you find a reputable trader.
• Don’t agree to any work or sign anything on the spot. Do not be pressured into having any work carried out.
• Never pay cash up front and never go to the bank or cash point with a trader.
• If you suspect a rogue trader is at your door then call 999.
Anyone with information or concerns should contact police on 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.