Beware of rogue contractors say County Council

Property owners in Lincolnshire are warned to be aware of rogue traders claiming to work for the county council's highways department, offering driveway re-paving and other tarmacking services.

Improvement works will commence on March 19.

Mark Heaton is programme leader for surfacing and patching at Lincolnshire County Council.

He said: “As part of the scam, a contractor un-associated with the council will see our team carrying out work to the road network before identifying and approaching businesses and homes, often those of older, more vulnerable people.

“They say they work for the council and have leftover materials before offering to resurface the drive.

“After the work is carried out, the property owner receives a bill for up to £25,000 before the rogue contractor offer a cash settlement on the debt.

“It’s important to stress that Lincolnshire County Council does not perform this sort of work on private land and that those carrying out this practice often use sub-standard materials that do not adhere to Lincolnshire County Council’s high standards.

“Any instance of someone approaching a home or business offering services under the guise of the county council should be reported to the police immediately.”

Lincolnshire Trading Standards is aware of this rogue trader issue.

Senior Lincolnshire Trading Standards officer Sally Gray, said: “We are very aware of this issue.

“In past years, it has tended to be business premises that have been targeted, so places like haulage yards or farm businesses.

“We are not currently investigating any particular case with rogue traders claiming to be from the council, but it is something that is always on our radar.

“We would always advice residents against entering into a contract with anyone who knocks on their door.”

David Culy, from the Lincolnshire Safeguarding Adults Board, ended by saying: “Everyone is vulnerable to cold callers, but this is particularly true for elderly consumers who are often targeted by rogue salespeople offering to carry out work on their home or garden.

“Decisions made on the doorstep can result in a great amount of distress for those who are duped out of money.

“Our advice would be to say ‘no’ and close the door.”

• Residents or businesses concerned about services and products for sale in this way in any part of Lincolnshire can report sightings to Lincolnshire Trading Standards via the Citizens Advice Service on 03454 04 0506 or through Lincolnshire Police’s non-emergency number – 101.