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Council warning over Canning Town drain clearance scam

PUBLISHED: 07:00 18 June 2020

Newham Council has issued a warning about scammers. Picture: Ken Mears

Newham Council has issued a warning about scammers. Picture: Ken Mears

Archant

A drain clearance scam targeting people in the Canning Town area is the latest coronavirus con Newham Council is warning people to be aware of.

The scam, which has been reported to trading standards officers, involves a man claiming to be from a drain clearance company asking people to pay for pipe work being done in the area.

He has quoted prices of more than £1,000 for work that is not necessary.

And at a time when many people are struggling with financial uncertainty, the council is reminding people that not everyone who contacts them to offer their services is trustworthy.

Councillor James Beckles, cabinet member for crime and community safety, said: “There are a minority of coronavirus crooks looking to exploit people during the pandemic and make this a more difficult time than it already is for everyone.

“We are encouraging everyone to be vigilant to the variety of these scams and to contact the council if you are concerned in any way.”

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People are advised to always ask to see a visitor’s ID and refuse entry if in doubt, and contact the company the visitor claims to be from to verify their identity.

You should never make a payment before work is carried out, and requests for payment for works off your property are almost always bogus. If you feel pressured into making a payment or allowing someone into your home, you should call police.

Newham Council has also received complaints about various coronavirus-related scams targeting vulnerable people and businesses through letters, text messages and emails.

These include messages purporting to be from gov.uk claiming people have been fined for not observing social distancing, fake grant application letters sent to businesses and emails or text messages offering a refund on taxes, utilities or similar to capture personal and bank details.

Other scams include contacting businesses and care homes offering PPE - which does not exist - for sale, fake Covid-19 tests and miracle prevention products and social media hackers gaining access to accounts and asking for loans.

Concerned residents can contact Newham’s trading standards team at trading.standards@newham.gov.uk

If you think you have been scammed you can also report it to Action Fraud, the UK’s national reporting centre for fraud and cybercrime, on 0300 123 2040 or actionfraud.police.uk


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