Bogus council worker conned OAP out of cash

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A pensioner who fell victim to a bogus caller who pretended he was working for the council has issued a warning to others.

Sandra Borrill, aged 72, was scammed out of £250 by a man who called at her home in Tadcaster Crescent, Woodseats, Sheffield, and offered to tarmac her drive - but never returned to do the work.

She said she was tricked because Sheffield Council workers were resurfacing her street - and the conman, who was wearing a hard hat and a high visibility jacket, claimed he was working with them.

Mrs Borrill said: “I even asked him if he was a cowboy and he said, ‘No, I work for the council’. He said: ‘We’ve got a contract for the paths, but if we want to do any drives it’s up to us’.”

The man asked Mrs Borrill for £250 in cash upfront and said it was because he had to pay for the tarmac.

He said he would return the next day to do the work but never turned up.

Mrs Borrill said: “I’m so annoyed with myself. I thought he was genuine. He said he was working with the council and because they were there on my street I believed him.

“I just want to warn others that this man is out there.”

A South Yorkshire Police spokesman said: “Police are advising residents in the Woodseats area of Sheffield to be aware of a bogus caller who is purporting to be a council contractor.

“A man called at the house of a woman in her early 70s on Tadcaster Crescent at 2pm, claiming to be a council worker and offering a reduced price to complete work on her drive.

“The elderly resident handed over £250 and was told the work would be completed the following day.

“The man never showed, so the pensioner approached Amey contractors, operating the Streets Ahead programme on Tadcaster Road, who informed her they knew nothing about any work on her drive, and would not do any private work.”

The man was white, in his early 50s, well built, around 5ft 7ins tall, and wearing a white hard hat and a yellow high-visibility jacket with silver stripes.

Coun Jack Scott, Sheffield Council’s cabinet member for Streetscene, said: “I would like to reassure all residents that our Streets Ahead staff would never call on residents to ask for money for services.

“Residents should not let people impersonating our highway staff into their homes, and should never hand over money.”

Graeme Symonds, network director at Streets Ahead contractor Amey, said: “Our staff will never ask for money on people’s doorsteps or demand access to people’s homes. 
“Genuine Amey staff carry photo identity cards which include an employee number which can be checked via the council’s customer services.”

Anyone with information about the bogus caller should call South Yorkshire Police on 101 quoting incident number 369 of Friday, January 31.