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Warning to watch out for ‘council’ fraudsters in South Holland

Police cleaning up the drive of an elderly person who was the victim of rogue contractors. Photo supplied.
Police cleaning up the drive of an elderly person who was the victim of rogue contractors. Photo supplied.

Homeowners in South Holland have been warned about rogue traders claiming to work for the county highways department.

The scam involves contractors stating that they have carried out improvements to Lincolnshire’s road network and then approaching elderly residents and businesses with offers to use “leftover materials” to resurface their drives.

Mark Heaton, of Lincolnshire County Council, said: “After the work is carried out, the property owner receives a bill for up to £25,000 before the rogue contractor offers a cash settlement on the debt.

“It is important to stress that the council does not perform this sort of work on private land and that those carrying out this practice often use sub-standard materials which do not adhere to the council’s high standards.

“Any instance of someone approaching a home or business offering services under the guise of the county council should be reported to the police immediately.”

Sally Gray, senior officer at Lincolnshire Trading Standards, said: “We are very aware of this issue and, in past years, it has tended to be business premises that have been targeted like haulage yards or farms.

A contractor not associated with the council will see our team carrying out work on the county’s roads before identifying and approaching businesses and homes, saying they work for the council and have leftover materials to resurface the drive
Mark Heaton, highways programme leader for Lincolnshire County Council

“However, we are not currently investigating any particular case with rogue traders claiming to be from the council, although it is something that is always on our radar.

“In any event, we would always advice residents against entering into a contract with anyone who knocks on their door.”

David Culy, of the Lincolnshire Safeguarding Adults Board, said: “Everyone is vulnerable to cold callers but this is particularly true for elderly consumers who are often targeted by rogue salespeople offering to carry out work on their home or garden.

“Decisions made on the doorstep can result in a great amount of distress for those who are duped out of money so our advice would be to say ‘No’ and close the door.”

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