Warning as cold callers take £10,000

Missing Abid Shaif has been found
Missing Abid Shaif has been found

Residents are being warned about a paving company targeting the elderly as East Sussex Trading Standards are investigating a Kent-based firm

A man in his 60s and a retired couple were each persuaded to part with more than £5,000 in cash to have their driveway repaved after being ‘cold called’ earlier this week.

East Sussex County Council lead member for economy councillor Rupert Simmons said: “It’s very concerning when elderly people are persuaded to hand over considerable amounts of cash to cold callers.

“We’d always urge residents to tread very carefully and avoid agreeing on the spot to having any work done, and that is particularly the case given the concerns we have about this company.

“Our advice to anyone considering contracting a tradesman is to take their time, do their research and choose a reputable trader.

“I’d also like to commend the vigilance and quick thinking of the residents who contacted us about this company, who have saved their neighbours from parting with even more of their money.”

Officers are particularly concerned about the quality of workmanship being offered – after workmen in the first incident severed an electricity cable beneath the man’s driveway – and about possible irregularities in paperwork.

In the first incident, the man handed over £5,500 in cash but avoided paying the full amount of £8,300 after neighbours contacted Trading Standards, while in the second case £5,000 was paid out of a total bill of £6,000.

Anyone who agrees to work costing more than £42 has a legal right to a 14-day cooling off period in which to cancel their agreement. Anyone with information or to order an anti-cold caller door sticker call the Citizens Advice Consumer Service on 03454 040506.

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