Conman fleeced gran out of £185

Brian Moffatt with some of the fish

Brian Moffatt with some of the fish

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A WIGAN pensioner is issuing a warning after his elderly wife was conned by a man selling fish door-to-door.

Brian Moffatt said his disabled wife, Doreen, 77, was left frightened and panicked after she was duped into paying for £185 worth of fish and giving her card details.

She started flapping and she only has 40 per cent of her hearing, so she just went along with it

Brian Moffatt

The 73-year-old, of Whelley, said: “My wife was in on her own and the guy had called round, selling fish. She said she wanted two pieces of cod and he suggested she try monkfish. She agreed and ordered one pack of cod and another of monkfish, for the pensioners’ rate of £7.99 each.

“He went away and came back with a big box of fish, asking for £185. She started flapping and she only has 40 per cent of her hearing, so she just went along with it.

“She only had £30 cash and so the man offered to take her to the cash machine, but as she is disabled she struggles to get out.

“He had a card machine but she forgot the pin number and he asked her to sign something and asked for her card details, including the pin code.

“Luckily I rang the bank to cancel the card payment.

“I have written a letter to the company as there is no working phone number.

“I want to warn the public about it to make sure it doesn’t happen again.”

Doreen, who has four children, 10 grandchildren and one great grandchild, added: “The man was nice enough but I was panicking and I didn’t know what to do.

“We don’t have any room in our freezer for all this fish. I had to give it to my children,

“I was devastated about it all.”

Wigan’s Trading Standards officers have been informed and are working with the police to track the traders down.

Julie Middlehurst, Trading Standards and licensing group manager, said: “These traders work in teams all over the country, and they will target vulnerable older adults, offering to sell them a piece of fish, and after the consumer agrees, they often fill the freezer with a large amount of pre-packed fish, and then demand large amounts of money.

“I would urge residents not to buy fish from an unknown seller who turns up on the doorstep, even if it seems like a bargain, as they may end up paying hundreds of pounds for fish they don’t need or want.

“Always shop around before making a hasty decision. If you have any doubt just say no thank you, close the door and call us.”

If anyone has seen a possible rogue fish trader call the Citizens Advice consumer service on 03454 04 05 06.