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Newham Council warns against fake contractor conmen

PUBLISHED: 15:23 06 March 2019

Conmen posing as council contractors are trying to scam Newham residents out of thousands of pounds. Picture: Pixabay License.

Conmen posing as council contractors are trying to scam Newham residents out of thousands of pounds. Picture: Pixabay License.

Pixabay License

The council is warning people against criminals posing as local authority contractors.

The fraudsters are trying to con residents out of thousands of pounds by pretending to offer home repairs on behalf of the council.

They tell the victim that special equipment is needed and ask for a deposit upfront.

Two cases have already been reported, one in Canning Town and one in Stratford. Unfortunately, an 89-year-old woman gave the conmen £2,700.

Previously, they have dressed as workmen claiming to be from ‘A1 Solutions’. Asked for credentials by the council, a man gave the name of Mr Smith and the fake telephone number of 020 36337029.

Councillor for East Ham John Whitworth has been targeted by the criminals.

He said: “As someone that has been targeted by this scam, I urge other residents to be vigilant.

“Should any workmen visit your house, do not hand over your hard earned cash and please do report it to the Council.

“These men may seem convincing but they should not be trusted.”

The council will always send a letter first if work on a house is needed. A contractor will never try to speak to residents before this has happened.

Newham Council said people should be wary of workmen knocking unannounced and that the conmen have been reported to the police.

Councillor John Gray, deputy mayor and lead member for housing services, said: “It is disgraceful that these con artists think they can get away with this behaviour in Newham.

“The Council will always contact residents in advance if any work is required at their property, and they should under no circumstances hand any money over to workmen that knock on the door.

“Both the council and the police are aware of this fraudulent activity, anyone that experiences this should report it to the authorities.”

Residents should call the council on 020 8430 2000 if they are suspicious. Anyone who has become a victim of the con should contact the police.

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