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On Monday, 20 September 2010, police in Sherborne arrested three men after they allegedly attempted to defraud an elderly resident in the Chandlers area of the town.
The men had reportedly called at the woman’s home, convinced her that her driveway was in need of re-paving and started work immediately.
By the time the woman left to go to the bank to obtain the money for the payment, a large part of the driveway had already been lifted up.
Dorset Police was alerted after the woman attempted to withdraw £5,500 from a local bank. Believing this to be suspicious the bank staff advised their customer to speak to the police.
Local officers attended Chandlers where three men, aged 21, 24 and 33 years, were arrested on suspicion of fraud offences.
Two of the men are from the Stoke area and one from Plymouth.
The men have been released on bail pending further enquiries. Trading Standards are now leading the investigation.
Sergeant Ged Want, of Sherborne police, said:
“We are very grateful to the bank staff who did the right thing and reported concerns to the police, enabling action to be taken promptly."
Bill Jaggs, Head of Regulatory Services for Dorset County Council, said:
“The current laws which help control unfair doorstep selling, have strengthened consumer protection considerably and we intend to uphold them.
“Any consumer agreeing to have work done by a trader calling at their home, costing over £35, is entitled to a seven day cooling off period during which they can cancel the job.
“These rights must be confirmed in writing and include the name and address of the trader.”
Sergeant Ged Want continued:
“We are appealing to members of the public to pass this information on to any vulnerable members of the community, who may be at risk from these traders.”
For more information and advice on cold calling please visit the Consumer Direct website at www.consumerdirect.gov.uk
or telephone 08454 04 05 06.