Reports of a scam circling Lytham St Annes, where young men, claiming to be roof and patio steam cleaners, are targeting vulnerable residents in the area.
We got in touch with a local shop owner, Linda Deacon of Bonney Fabrics, who reported that last night her elderly next door neighbour got scammed out of £350.
The incident occurred as Linda was out at her shop, her neighbour answered the door to a young Irish man who had been going from door to door down the street offering his services. The young man claimed to be a steam cleaner and insisted that she needed her back patio steaming.
Although she declined his offer, the stranger insisted and would not take no for an answer, preying on her vulnerability. She later gave in and agreed to the service for £250, however after he had done the job (quite poorly), he insisted that he had quoted £350 rather than £250.
The young man offered to take her to the bank if she did not have the cash, which she eventually gave him. Linda returned to find the poor lady very confused, as her ‘social bubble’ she took her in and calmed her down, promising to keep an eye out for the young man who she suspects will return hoping the elderly lady will have forgotten.
Upon inspection of the leaflet, the advertised website seems to be fraudulent, with images taken from other sites, and the service claiming to be ‘Nationwide’ meaning they travel the country to steam clean rooves and patios rather than sticking to one area. You can see the website here: http://www.creativesteamcleaning.co.uk/
It wasn’t until another local posted a different leaflet on a Facebook group claiming that the advertised service was a scam. Linda saw the leaflet and noticed that the website was the same, however the leaflet and phone number was different.
If you are approached by someone offering this service please do your research before agreeing. If you are in a social bubble with a vulnerable person, or you suspect one of your neighbours may fall victim to a scam like this, please warn them and keep an eye out.
This incident has been reported to the police and crime stoppers, if you believe you have been scammed please call 101 to report the incident.