Police warning over tree works fraud
POLICE are warning residents to be on the lookout for rogue traders who are claiming to be South Gloucestershire Council contractors and conning residents out of more than £600.
The fraudsters called at a house in Cleeve Hill on August 18 and told their victim they needed to cut down some trees which were growing over the pavement.
Avon and Somerset police said the men claimed that the resident would be taken to court if the work was not carried out, and demanded £400 to do it.
They then called on a neighbour, claiming that their first victim had sent them. They charged the second resident £220 to remove some trees.
A police spokesperson said: "Although these offences happened in Downend, these culprits can appear anywhere in the force area, so please be wary of any cold callers offering to make repairs or perform gardening services.
"These works are often unnecessary and any work done can be of a low standard. The offenders can often be threatening, demanding the work needs doing or pressurising the resident into agreeing.
"They may also increase the agreed price after the work has been started or completed, and have also taken their victims to a cashpoint or bank to ensure they get their cash.
"We recommend that residents only use recognised traders or someone that has been recommended to you by a trusted source. Always get a written quote which also has a legitimate business address, and never pay in cash."