Warning over bogus gardeners

Published Friday, 17th May 2019

Scam images for phone scam news story

Southend-on-Sea Borough Council is warning local residents to be vigilant against bogus callers purporting to be from the council and offering tree cutting and removal services.

In one incident, a man door-knocked an elderly woman on Bellhouse Lane, claimed he was working for the council and was able to remove a tree from her garden at a reduced cost. The man later returned, entered the woman’s home and demanded £1,000 to clear the felled tree. The man handed her his bank details to transfer the payment to and when she refused to pay, he became aggressive and made threats.

Carl Robinson, director for public protection at Southend-on-Sea Borough Council, said: “Our parks service do not offer these services to members of the public and would never go door-knocking for business. While our waste contractor Veolia does offer waste collections privately, they work on an appointment-only basis and all staff carry identification.”

“If you are door-knocked by someone claiming to be from the council and offering these services, turn them away, do not let them into your property and please notify Essex Police on 101.”