Two incidents have been drawn to our attention this week involving what appears to be a very similar bogus drainage repair scam.
Incident 1 – A Beckenham resident was cold called and told there was a problem with a neighbour’s drains. He allowed men into his back garden to inspect a manhole cover and they told him work was needed to clear a blockage. The resident paid a large deposit for machinery needed to do this work, was told he also had damp in his property and paid a further £10,000 to resolve both “issues”.
Incident 2 – An elderly resident in Orpington was cold called by a young male in shorts and told that there was a problem with a blockage in a neighbour’s drains. The resident was asked for permission to inspect his drains and he agreed. The male lifted the manhole cover and left. The resident was then telephoned by a man claiming to be from a company attempting to sort out the problem. He was told a deposit of £4,000 was needed to hire machinery to clear the blocked drain and was asked for a banker’s draft. The resident refused and then received a call from someone claiming to be from the Council who applied more pressure in an attempt to obtain the funds. The resident again refused. The resident then received a call from another male pretending to be one of his neighbours, again applying pressure and trying to appeal to the resident’s good nature. Luckily, the resident knows his neighbours and did not fall for it. When they continued to phone, the resident advised he had informed Trading Standards and the Police after which the caller hung up.
Trading Standards are investigating these incidents.
Meanwhile, please beware of cold callers offering property repairs or purporting to be from the Council. Call Bromley Trading Standards Rapid Response team on 07903 852 090 if you are suspicious of anyone offering any type of property repairs and look out for any neighbours who may be vulnerable to this type of caller.