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Carers UK Forum • An Opportunist or
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An Opportunist or

Posted: Mon Mar 04, 2013 11:31 pm
by Robinredbreast
a sneaky rip off merchant ?

I was spitting feathers this morning. I went to my dads as usual, through the back garden, noticed the bushes in the corner had been chopped down and removed( it appears to have been done on Saturday, 2nd.. The agency carer was there and we looked in the front garden, some bushes were cut right down in front of kitchen window. We discussed how this could of happened because I'm the one that trims them back! I asked my dad about the gardening, he was very vague, well, he had no idea and said something completely different. Eventually I found a business card and on the back was written 'To cut down all shrubs in back garden take rubbish £ 150.00". I roughly worked out what had happened, a cold caller came to my dads door,offered to do some work and quoted ( who knows £'s). I knew my dad couldn't have given him cash, because he still has the £5,00 note in his wallet so I thought this guy had taken my dad to his bank to get the money, but no. Anyway, I telephoned his bank twice and tried to get the cheque cancelled, but it was too late, the guy had put the cheque in his bank on the Saturday Image I knew it was a cheque because I telephoned the number on the card to find out how and why my dad had garden maintanance done. The guy said he was working in the area? and knocked on some doors and my dad said he wanted the bushes cut back/removed? The guy said he cut down the bushes on one side in BG, thats a lie, it was only in the corner. The guy said he ONLY takes cheques, probably another lie,as the only reason he got a cheque was because my dad hadno money there, thank god. My dad wouldn't even know where to look first for his cheque book, he hasn't written a cheque in years, so he must of had help and this guy was in my dads bungalow, I bet he wrote out the cheque and got my dad to sign it. Also, there is a No Cold Callers sign on the front door, I told the guy that he couldn't of missed it and he delibratley ignored it, the guy said" I don't know what type of cold callers it is!!!! another lie. I was getting quite agitated with this guy and told him £150.00 was an outrageous amount and he took money off of a vunerable old person,knowing NO cold callers were to knock on the door. My dad will be 90 this year and is a friendly sort of person and this guy, I think, quickly latched on to that as all the house in the my dads row and surrounding are bungalows. I told the guy I was taking it further and would get in touch with the Police, which I did when I got home. They were very understanding and a police officer is going round tomorrow at 10am to chat with us. My gut feeling when I saw the garden was confussion, somethings up and something dodgy has gone on? I think this guy was an oppotunist and he must of thought 'bingo' when he knocked on my dads door. I am angry at this guy,he knew what he was doing and managed ( I feel) to get £150.00 out of my dad when the cost of the work, looks like a lot less. The guy was touting for business, hoping to get lucky( he probably wasn't even working in the area in the first place, because thats what he told me) and he appears to have got lucky and how many other OAP's and the vunerable has this happened to ? I just don't know, or maybe I'm being too over protective, but, the carer felt the same as me this morning.
Please be on your guard and your caree's,I know it's difficult, but it makes my blood boil when I read about rip off merchants and its even worse when its a close family member ggrrrrrr Image Take care with best wishes RRB

Re: An Opportunist or

Posted: Tue Mar 05, 2013 6:32 am
by sturdygirl
Hi RRB,
I understand you frustration, it is so unfair when people take advantage. I hope the police can have a word with this bloke.
With my Dad it was always that junk mail stating he had won something amazing, and all he had to do was send a cheque for x amount to claim it, I lost count of the times I had to explain it was a scam.
xx

Re: An Opportunist or

Posted: Tue Mar 05, 2013 9:36 am
by crocus
Its so widespread RRB - it makes me angry too.
With us it was the phone cold callers/scam merchants who said they were from microsoft and wanted to sort out problems on our computer. They nearly persuaded hubby to run a program to give them remote control of our computer Image Image

Re: An Opportunist or

Posted: Tue Mar 05, 2013 12:15 pm
by Bluebird
That makes me so angry. We have a lot of cold callers to our door (and on the telephone) and they are quite insistent that I need work doing even when I don't. I don't open the front door to them, I just open Mum's window and shout down to them.

I really feel for your Dad (and you), a horrible thing to have happened, I hope the police are helpful. What a dreadful world we live in.

Re: An Opportunist or

Posted: Tue Mar 05, 2013 1:25 pm
by Robinredbreast
Hi I'm back from my dad's with an update. Two Police Officers came round, (one looked so young and didn't say much,bless him). Off the record, this guy is known to the Police. I told them everything I know and that I spoke to him on the phone,also the cheque. Older PO asked if he could look in the back garden, we went outside and he said, to him, it doesn't look like £150.00. I told them of my gut feeling that something was up and the older PO said alot of this type of thing is happening in a smaller town a few miles away, repairing/cleaning facia boards etc. The PO's went to speak to my dads neighbours, they came back and the neighbours said there were two of them, one was a young guy (probably the father teaching the son the trade) Image Po's are sure my dad was overpriced and possibly? pressured into the job. PO will get in touch with a contact and then trading standards will be informed. Po took away the business card, it had on it, discount price for OAP's and 26 years trading, which isn't true as it appears he has been working in Gardening Maintanance for just a couple of years. My dad didn't know what was going on even though I told him about 3 times. I am now thinking it would be best for him to move very near me( there are housing Association bungalows just a minute away0 and this is the 2nd time, that I know of, that he has been conned,a couple of years ago it was a Window cleaner and I use that term very loosley and I had to inform the Police and this guy was also known to the police Image I know my dad won't want to move but for his safety and well being and also his bank account, I really thinkI will have to do something.

I really dispise these types of people with a passion and would love to wring their necks Image and how many times has this happenend to other people who don't have anyone to look after them and protect them,what a sad world this is.

Anyway, I left my dad happy and he had just finished leek and potato soup followed by banoffe syrup pudding Image

Take care, be safe and thank you for your replies Image

RRB X

Re: An Opportunist or

Posted: Tue Mar 05, 2013 4:12 pm
by lell7
I'm glad to hear the police are taking it seriously. There's a lot of this going on round here too. How low are these people??? Many years ago it happened to my dad. Chap called and offered to do fascia and guttering, charged far too much and did a bad job. They then drove dad into town to get money from the building society.
I was furious when I found out but there was no way to trace them. They'd given him a card but with just a mobile no. which was false. My dad had dementia, and just thought they were good lads for giving him a lift into town. It upset me that the building society staff didn't question what was going on, as my dad wouldn't have been able to get the money out on his own, the conmen must have been involved.
Hope the police are able to do something about these guys who took advantage of your father.

Re: An Opportunist or

Posted: Tue Mar 05, 2013 6:00 pm
by Robinredbreast
I'm glad to hear the police are taking it seriously. There's a lot of this going on round here too. How low are these people??? Many years ago it happened to my dad. Chap called and offered to do fascia and guttering, charged far too much and did a bad job. They then drove dad into town to get money from the building society.
I was furious when I found out but there was no way to trace them. They'd given him a card but with just a mobile no. which was false. My dad had dementia, and just thought they were good lads for giving him a lift into town. It upset me that the building society staff didn't question what was going on, as my dad wouldn't have been able to get the money out on his own, the conmen must have been involved.
Hope the police are able to do something about these guys who took advantage of your father.
Thanks crocus and lell I understand how you are feeling. How would they feel if it happened to thier own parents or relatives???? When the PO said " off the record, this person is known to the police,even though I had that'gut feeling' that something wasn't right, my heart still sank when I was told he was known to the police. The PO was very clear in saying he is on to it, as he seemed very keen to get to work on these 'scumbags'.

I am seriously looking into getting my dad moved closer to me, as the bungalows have a warden, but doesn't live in and it would be much better for both of us and it would give me peace of mind, knowing I could just pop over to see him any time,day or night, even though my dad wouldn't be keen on it, but I wouldn't keep pestering him or be spying on him, and he would still be an independant 89 yr old Image so lots to think about.

Remember the 'honest' ( this is not being serious btw, just a light hearted comment) criminals, the spivs, war time jack the lads, the black market, at least you knew what they were and what you were getting Image Image ps I have put up yet another No cold calling sticker on the front door and on the inside of the door, instructions about strangers knocking on the door,money and keeping the chain on and not letting them IN.

Take care with best wishes RRB