Last Wednesday 27th November a gentleman who lives on Catchpole Lane Great Totham became a victim of a cowboy builder. This cowboy builder impersonated a real builder who had previously completed work on his roof.
A man and several other men knocked at his door with a welcome of ‘Do you remember me? It’s Bill, we did your roof’ the owner believed this to be the builder and thought he looked different because he had lost weight, however continued with the conversation.
The cowboy builder then made the noises of a typical scam case. He claimed he noticed the roof had rotted and stated it needed repairing immediately. He advised that he could do the work today for a fixed price and as they were already there he would start straight away. The cowboy builder had a good look inside the property too.
After looking at the roof he came down and claimed the chimney was old and also urgently needed repairing otherwise it could fall this winter causing a lot of damage. Once the owner agreed he demanded £7,000 in cash and told the owner to go to the bank.
When returning to his home he handed over all the money and the cowboy builder made a hasty get away. The owner then realised what had just happened. He called the company who did the previous work to find out that Bill had not been there and was working on a different site. Bill came to his home to check the work advising of the bodge job.
This has been reported to the police and trading standards. The company this man is impersonating is William Dalton – Property Maintenance specialist based in the Braintree area code. The real company use marked up vans and have specialised equipment attached. The cowboy builder did not, he used silver estate cars with no markings.
Please be aware if any work men approach your home. Do not invite them in or agree for work to be done and do not hand over large amount of cash.
If you feel that work needs to be done we would advise to obtain 2 or 3 different quotes. You could try trading standards site of trusted company’s http://www.buywithconfidence.gov.uk/sitepages/bwchome.aspx
If you see anything suspicious please call 101 or 999 in an emergency.