Conned pensioner issues warning over tricksters
Published: 26 Oct 2013 16:30
The Priestwood resident says he paid two people for gardening but they left, leaving a “shambles”.
The 66-year-old, who suffers from emphysema, said his poor health meant he could not tend his garden and he wanted it to look nice for his neighbours.
The man, who did not want to be named, said: “A middle-aged man in an official-looking uniform-type donkey jacket with a company written on the front asked to look at the ash tree in my garden.
“I explained to him that he could look, but due to my emphysema I was unable to look after my garden properly to which he replied he could sort it out for me straight away. He implied it would be carried out properly and he would pile up and burn all the brambles.
“He offered to do the work for £400 which, although it seemed a lot, would give me peace of mind, so I agreed.”
The two workers then showed him their progress after about an hour and asked him to go to the bank to get the money for them.
He said: “On returning from the bank about 20 minutes later, the man and his assistant were sitting in their van waiting for me.
“I had no sooner got out of my car than he came up to collect his money which, like a fool,I handed to him.
I asked for a receipt and he said he would put one in the post and then they drove off.
“ It took a little while for the penny to drop that they weren’t coming back and I was more angry than anything else.”
The pensioner said he felt exploited and angry with himself, but urged other people not to be taken in by similar schemes.
He reported the incident to police and it was referred to Trading Standards.
He said: “It’s going to be very difficult to get the money back. I feel so ashamed about being taken in so easily but it’s important to let people know about it.”
Rob Charlton, from Bracknell Forest Council Trading Standards, said he was investigating the incident but a lack of evidence meant it would be difficult to prove anything.
He added: “It is unfortunate and my message to members of the public is to give us a call if they have any suspicions – even if it is just people putting leaflets through the door.”
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