Rogue trader poses as council employee

A man in Mitcham escaped falling foul to two scheming conmen over the August Bank Holiday weekend.

One rogue called on Sunday and the other on Monday saying that they were from the council and would be carrying out garden clearance work for him later on that week.

The men banged on his window when they called and gave the impression that the work was urgent. They priced their work at £170 and said they would be putting down poison so if he had any animals to keep them indoors.

After his suspicion was raised he alerted Merton’s Trading Standards department who told him it was a scam and not to get any work done or pay any money if they turned up again. He received help from his neighbours to clear his garden, which resulted in the conmen not coming back.

Merton’s cabinet member for environmental sustainability and regeneration, Councillor Andrew Judge said: “The council would never call out of the blue to carry out this sort of work. We always give prior notice before visiting and all our employees carry I.D.

“If residents ever suspect a council employee is bogus they should ask for the person’s department, name of manager and call our main reception on 020 8274 4901 for verification.”