Rogue trader warning as bank alerts Leeds police over elderly victim withdrawing cash
A rogue trader warning has been issued by police in Leeds after a bank alerted officers about an elderly victim withdrawing cash for work on their home.
West Yorkshire Police has also shared descriptions of two suspects being sought after the suspected fraud in the Crossgates Lane area of the city.
It comes after Police Community Support Officers from the Inner East Neighbourhood Policing Team visited the elderly victim's home on Tuesday in response to concerns raised by bank staff.
The report was activated via the banking protocol after the victim went to a branch to withdraw money for work conducted at their home.
Staff took swift action amid fraud concerns, preventing the withdrawal of money and brought the information to the attention of police.
Enquiries established that two suspects had attended the home of elderly occupants, advising them that some work was required on their property. They said they could complete the task for a small fee.
The occupants agreed to the work but were then asked to pay a substantial amount of money. When they questioned the new sum, the suspects reduced the figure of the amount owed.
Police said the works completed did not equate to the money requested, no invoice was supplied and no details were given of the company or contractors involved.
The first suspect was described as a white man with ginger hair and a beard, who was wearing a woolly hat and dark clothing.
The second suspect was described as a black man, who was wearing a woolly hat and dark clothing.
The men were said to have been driving a silver vehicle, with several ladders on the roof. They did not provide the name of the business and no business logos were apparent on the vehicle they were using.
Anyone with information or CCTV footage relating to the incident is asked to contact the Inner East Neighbourhood Policing Team on 101, quoting crime reference 13220016787.
Meanwhile, officers are urging residents across the city to be vigilant about potential rogue traders calling at their homes.
A spokesperson said: "These are dishonest tradespeople who often turn up unannounced. You may want some work doing, but this isn't the way to do it.
"A rogue trader may leaflet an area before making doorstep calls and often offer roofing, gardening and handyperson jobs. The work may be unnecessary, done to a poor standard and overpriced.
"It's best to not open the door to anyone you don't recognise."
Tips for avoiding rogue traders and reporting concerns
Obtain three written quotes before choosing a trader.
Don’t pay any money upfront, particular in cash.
Only pay for work once it has been completed and you are satisfied with the job.
Report issues with rogue traders to West Yorkshire Police online, by calling 101 or by texting 07786 200 200 if you are deaf or hard of hearing. Call or text 999 if they are still on your doorstep.
Report issues with companies to West Yorkshire Trading Standards via Citizens Advice online or by calling 0345 404 0506.
Consider using a trusted trader scheme or charitable organisation for the work.
Find out more useful information by visiting the dedicated doorstep crime information page on the West Yorkshire Police website.
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