Bank worker stops scam builders

Karl Battersby, director of economy and regeneration at Wigan Council
Karl Battersby, director of economy and regeneration at Wigan Council

A quick thinking bank employee has been praised after preventing a Wigan pensioner from being scammed.

The staff member at a borough branch of Lloyds Bank raised the alarm after becoming suspicious when a 75-year-old Lowton resident applied for a loan to have work done to the roof of his bungalow.

When the pensioner was quizzed about why he needed the £3,000 loan, alarm bells rang when he said a builder had cold-called him and said that his roof tiles needed replacing after only a couple of months of being installed.

The employee reported the incident to Greater Manchester Police and Wigan Trading Standards who visited the man’s home to reassure him and ensure the builder did not turn up to try to take any money from him.

Karl Battersby, director of economy and environment, said: “I would like to thank the employee for their speedy action to prevent this vulnerable pensioner from being scammed by this rogue trader. I would encourage all bank and building society staff to be on the lookout for any of their customers who ask to withdraw unusual amounts of money which is out of character with their normal transactions.

“I would also like to ask residents to play their part in The Deal and keep a look-out for their elderly neighbours and report any suspicious traders going door to door touting for business.”

Trading Standards have developed a short training package for staff at banks and building societies to help them spot suspicious withdrawals, which they will deliver free of charge to any interested branch in Wigan and Leigh. To find out more please contact 01942 827476.

If you are a resident who spots a suspicious trader in your street, please report it to Citizens Advice Consumer Service on 03454 040506, who will pass the details on to Trading Standards.

Search the council’s Good Trader Scheme to find a reliable trader: www.wigan.gov.uk/goodtrader