A banker stopped an elderly woman being ripped off by rogue traders after they drove her to the bank to withdraw cash.
Grandmother Maria Ranson from Bearsted was targeted on her doorstep by a man and a woman who attempted to pressurise her into having her driveway re-laid.
When she told them she did not have any cash, they drove her to Natwest in Sutton Road, Maidstone.
Maria, who usually uses a wheelchair, was left to make her own way to the ATM to withdraw £550.
But it exceeded the maximum withdrawal amount and her card was swallowed.
Fortunately, Customer Service Manager Rea Lynch spotted the 89-year-old and questioned her about the man she was with, asking if the man was pressuring her into giving him money.
Rea said: “The customer was quite elderly and had a lot of difficulty walking, she had problems with the machine and I offered to assist.
“Whilst I took the lady to the machine to help, I asked her why she needed the money, the lady explained it was for a driveway and ‘they gave me a lift to the bank to get the money’.
“This raised alarm bells and so I took the lady back inside the branch. Something didn’t ring true.”
Scared off, the rogue traders drove Maria home without taking any of her money.
In recognition of the intervention made by Rea, she has been awarded a certificate of appreciation signed by KCC’s Head of Public Protection Mike Overbeke.
Maria and her family are warning other unsuspecting residents to be aware of rogue traders taking advantage of the elderly.
KCC’s Trading Standards’ advice to homeowners is to never agree to building or gardening work as a result of a cold call or doorstep caller.
This case shows that, although cold callers are often good salespeople, the work they do is rarely good quality and is often very expensive when compared to respectable businesses.
If you want to stop cold callers knocking on your door in the first place then contact your local Community Warden or local police station to collect your ‘no doorstep callers’ sticker.
Only use reputable tradespeople which can be found via Checkatrade’s website www.checkatrade.com or by calling 03330 146190.