THURROCK Council’s trading standards team is warning people to beware of a scam where someone claimed to be a council officer.
The council was alerted on Tuesday (3 November) about an elderly resident who had been approached and unfortunately handed over a large sum of money.
The con-man claimed he was from Thurrock Council and is described as wearing a hard hat and fluorescent jacket.
He said he was visiting to measure-up for scaffolding and told the resident their windows needed to be replaced.
The council’s portfolio holder for public protection, Cllr Jane Pothercary, has denounced the con-man, saying: “This kind of crime is beyond the pale and targeting vulnerable older people is something we should all do our best to prevent.”
She added: “I would like to thank the police for their quick reaction on Tuesday. When we first heard of this the con-man said he would be back and police officers were on hand had he done so.
“If anyone has information which could help identify the con-man, such as vehicle details, I urge you to pass it on to the police by calling 101.
“And there are two other things to remember, always ask for ID – if you are in doubt -do not let them in – and that council tenants do not have to pay for major home improvement works such as replacement of windows.”
Council tenants should also be aware that if repairs are to be carried out by the authority the housing team will book an appointment in advance and staff will always carry identification.
If the visitor claims to be from Thurrock Council, call 01375 652955 and explain what department they are from to verify their identity.
Anybody who is in the slightest concerned they are being rushed into making a decision or about letting people into their home should refuse in the first instance and check with the organisation – whether that is the council or a utilities supplier like electricity, gas or water companies.