Can you help combat con-men like the fraudster from Faringdon?

People across Oxfordshire are being asked to join a national campaign to confront cold-calling fraudsters after a 54-year-old man from Faringdon was given a suspended prison sentence and ordered to complete 100 hours of unpaid work after conning a vulnerable elderly person in Littlemore.

David Smith was given a 24 month sentence, suspended for a year and told to pay £3,000 compensation to his victim and £1,000 towards the prosecution costs of Oxfordshire County Council’s Trading Standards team who undertook the investigation that led to Mr Smith finding himself at Oxford Magistrates Court.

Trading as AS Garden Services, Mr Smith cold-called his victim last September and charged him £5,000 for work on his driveway, guttering, gate and garden. The work was of a very poor standard and in some instances was found to be worthless. The victim received no paperwork in relation to the work carried out.

Mr Smith pleaded guilty to committing fraud by false representation. He was living in Faringdon at the time of the offences but has since moved to Oxford.

The national Friends Against Scams campaign exists to help communities work together to combat people who set out to con vulnerable people. More details can be found at www.friendsagainstscams.org.uk



Taking action

Richard Webb, Head of Community Safety at Oxfordshire County Council, said: “This case shows that Oxfordshire County Council’s trading standards team will take action against those who deceive vulnerable members of the public by charging excessive amounts and carrying out poor and unfinished work.”

Identifying doorstep criminals

Councillor Judith Heathcoat, the deputy leader of the county council, said: “This once more highlights the work that Oxfordshire County Council’s Trading Standards team does in identifying doorstep criminals and bringing them to justice. I would advise members of the public to be aware of these scams and keep an eye out for those who may be vulnerable to them. One way to do that is to join the Friends Against Scams campaign”