Welwyn Garden City woman bullied by fraudsters

PUBLISHED: 08:40 22 July 2017

Citizens Advice chief executive Debbie Rixon, research and campaigns coordinator Bryn Morris and advice services manager Debbie MacCormick are offering advice on how to avoid scams. Picture: Danny Loo

Citizens Advice chief executive Debbie Rixon, research and campaigns coordinator Bryn Morris and advice services manager Debbie MacCormick are offering advice on how to avoid scams. Picture: Danny Loo

Danny Loo Photography 2017

To help the citizens advice bureau raise awareness of scams, a vulnerable Welwyn Garden City woman has bravely spoken out about how she was bullied into having work done on her front garden.

Citizens Advice chief executive Debbie Rixon, research and campaigns coordinator Bryn Morris and advice services manager Debbie MacCormick are offering advice on how to avoid scams. Picture: Danny LooCitizens Advice chief executive Debbie Rixon, research and campaigns coordinator Bryn Morris and advice services manager Debbie MacCormick are offering advice on how to avoid scams. Picture: Danny Loo

Val has shared her story to help Citizens Advice Welwyn Hatfield spread the word about scams as part of Scam Awareness Month this July.

Val has communications difficulties due to severe hearing loss and was just about to go into hospital for major surgery.

Never having had surgery before, she was worried and distracted.

On Sunday May 21, she was approached outside her front door by a man who offered to resurface her front garden.

Citizens Advice chief executive Debbie Rixon, research and campaigns coordinator Bryn Morris and advice services manager Debbie MacCormick are offering advice on how to avoid scams. Picture: Danny LooCitizens Advice chief executive Debbie Rixon, research and campaigns coordinator Bryn Morris and advice services manager Debbie MacCormick are offering advice on how to avoid scams. Picture: Danny Loo

He then went on to say he could do the back as well and create a new path, none of which Val wanted.

Val said: “I agreed to the front after I was bullied.

“He wanted £1,000 deposit.

“I had cash in my room and told him I would get it.

Citizens Advice chief executive Debbie Rixon, research and campaigns coordinator Bryn Morris and advice services manager Debbie MacCormick are offering advice on how to avoid scams. Picture: Danny LooCitizens Advice chief executive Debbie Rixon, research and campaigns coordinator Bryn Morris and advice services manager Debbie MacCormick are offering advice on how to avoid scams. Picture: Danny Loo

“He started to follow me up the stairs but I said ‘No! How dare you follow me’.

“I was in hospital from May 23 until June 2.

“The men did the work at the front and also removed the back slabs, which I definitely didn’t want, leaving a real mess.”

“While I was in hospital my friend Jane contacted Trading Standards and had a letter printed that she brought for me to sign, which she could hand to them to say stop working.

“They were very offensive to her and intimidating.”

In total the man demanded £3,900 in cash for work that Val did not want and she walked twice to the bank to get enough cash to pay up.

After doing some investigation work, Val found out that the company was not genuine.

Citizens Advice has revealed a national 17 per cent increase in people being scammed, whether it is on the doorstep or online.

Debbie MacCormick, advice services manager at CAWH based at Queensway House, Hatfield, said: “Val has been very brave to come forward.

“Most people are too embarrassed to admit they have been scammed, but it is important to spread the word so that other people are aware.”

To receive advice on an offer you have had, or find out how you can get your money back if you have been scammed, call the Citizens Advice on 03454 04 05 06

Report suspected scams to Action Fraud 0300 123 2040

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