Rogue trader warning after pensioners targeted near Swanley
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Investigators have issued a warning after suspected rogue traders targeted two residents in the Swanley area.
On 24 November 2021, a pensioner living in the town was approached by some men who said his roof needed repairing.
They gained access to the loft and were paid a quantity of cash before demanding a considerably larger sum. The householder refused to pay the additional amount and the men left.
Two days later, three men visited an address in Crockenhill where it is reported they sought to persuade the occupier to agree to allow a large amount of building work. The elderly resident declined and also refused to let the callers access to his home to get some water.
Officers are appealing to anyone else who may have received similar visits to come forward, and are warning other residents to be vigilant.
Inspector Matt Atkinson, of the Sevenoaks and Swanley Community Safety Unit, said: 'In both these incidents, it was reassuring that the residents refused to part with large amounts of cash for work at their addresses that was not required. ‘Working with Sevenoaks District Council and West Kent Housing Association, we have been speaking to vulnerable people and advising them to refuse uninvited callers offering on the spot repairs or maintenance. 'Anybody seeking to have work done should speak to family and friends to obtain details of recommended and trusted traders before getting a number of quotes to make a comparison.’
Anyone who has been the victim of a similar incident should report it by calling 101, visiting the Kent Police website or dialling 999 if a crime is in progress.
You can also contact Crimestoppers anonymously by calling 0800 555111 or using the online form on their website.
Anyone with information about the suspects involved in the two incidents should could call Kent Police on 01622 604100, quoting reference 24-457.
Doorstep fraudsters generally seek to carry out services that are either completely unnecessary or substandard. If cash is paid in advance they will often leave without starting any work.
Services offered will include cleaning driveways, gardening or roof and guttering repairs.
Don't allow anyone to pressure you into agreeing to have work carried out. If you ask them to leave and they don't, contact the police on 999.
Don't ever go to a bank or cash point with a trader; legitimate traders would never do this.
Consider using reputable traders who are members of the KCC Trading Standards approved trader scheme.
Ask for quotes in writing and check that the tradesperson is from the company they say they are from.