Thursday, April 18, 2024

Warning after bogus trading standards official tries to scam elderly

PEOPLE are being warned about a man posing as a trading standards officer, following an incident in Aveley on Friday (10 January).

Essex Police have been informed of the incident where the man provided fake ID in an effort to obtain money from residents.

Cllr Angie Gaywood, the council’s portfolio holder for public protection, said: “This shows why the advice we give to check out callers is so important.”

“Although the trickster was refused entry to the home, he did gain some information which then led to a series of telephone calls – alleging to be from trading standards and the local courts.”

“Luckily the ‘victims’ did contact the council and genuine trading standards officers have visited to provide help and support.”

The man is described as a white man, dressed smartly, with long-ish hair and a light Irish accent. He knocked on the door of a house occupied by three elderly and potentially vulnerable local residents and produced a false Trading Standards ID in a dark wallet.

He asked about work that had previously been carried out at the property and for personal information such as telephone numbers.
Within 20 minutes the occupants started receiving calls from people pretending to be from the local courts requesting further information and money.

Cllr Gaywood added: “This shows it is all the more important that people take extra care when answering their door to strangers.

Genuine visitors will have no objection to you ringing and checking that they are who they say they are, so please do so.”

If you think you were visited by this fraudster or if you want to check a council ID please call 01375 652955, if you feel threatened call 999.

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