‘Firefighter’ selling fire extinguishers door to door

fire extingtuisher

Solihull Trading Standards have received a report from a resident on Sharmans Cross Road about a door to door fire extinguisher sales woman.

The incident took place at 7pm yestersday (Tuesday 05th January). The caller is described as an asian female in her 20s with long dark hair. She claimed to be a ‘firefighter’ when the resident asked who was at the door.

West Midlands Fire Service do NOT sell fire extinguishers door to door and if someone claims they are operating on their behalf then it is NOT true.

If you have any more information about this or any potential rogue trader please contact us on 03454 04 05 06.


Limping rogue cons 94 year old woman out of £500


West Midlands Police have released CCTV images of a limping con man who stole £500 from a 94-year-old woman in Bilston, Wolverhampton after convincing her he’d been sent to carry out fence repairs.

Footage shows him peering through the front window before gaining entry via a side door having told the victim he’d been sent by a neighbour to mend broken fence panels.

Investigating officer DC Robert Berry from Wolverhampton Police’s investigation team, said: “Once inside he distracts the victim and makes off with a sizeable sum of cash…CCTV shows him leaving in a rush and waving to the driver of the Mercedes as if to say they need to make a swift exit.

“We believe the woman has been singled out due to her age as a ‘soft target’…offences like this are truly sickening and I’d urge anyone who believes they recognise the man, or the car he arrived in, to contact me.”

The thief is described as white, aged between 40- and 60-years-old, six-foot tall, and of medium to large build; he was wearing a peaked cream or light brown cap and a dark-blue zipped top.

Anyone with information is asked to contact DC Berry at West Midlands Police on the 101 number or, alternatively, contact the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555111

‘Highway Maintenance’ con-artist who ripped off schools jailed for 16 months

con artist

A Northamptonshire fraudster has been jailed after tricking schools, community centres and a church into paying for unnecessary highways works.

Leslie Smith would cold call his victims, claiming he was working for the local authority’s highways teams and had ‘some paint left over’. He drove around in a vehicle with ‘Highway Maintenance’ stickers printed on it and with the registration plate ‘LINE U.’

Smith conned his victims out of more than £57,000. See the full article here:


Wythall resident suffers heart attack after being visited by a doorstep seller


(Picture – Redditch & Alcester Advertiser)

An 84 year old Wythall resident was visited on Friday, September 25th, by a man who said he wanted to repair his driveway. After heated exchanges with the caller, the man remained persistent and said he would return the next day.

The daughter of the elderly gentleman became concerned about his health when she visited him later that day. He was taken to hospital and it transpired that he had suffered a heart attack and a stroke.

The caller did return the next day. The gentleman’s daughter told him to leave and called the police.

See the full article here:


Elderly people are particularly vulnerable to persistent and unscrupulous callers. If you are concerned about yourself or someone you know please call us on 03454 04 05 06.

Watch out for PayPal scams!!!


(Picture credit – www.digitaltrends.com)

The company PayPal offers a legitimate, secure payment method for many internet purchase forums.

However, Solihull MBC Trading Standards are seeing an increasing number of residents being duped into paying for large, expensive items via fake or adulterated PayPal links. They lose all their cash to these scammers and never see anything arrive.

Have a look at the link below to know what kind of scam indicators to keep an eye out for:


Solihull pensioner cruelly cheated out of £20,000


An elderly Solihull woman has given rogue traders £20,000 for a new roof for her property – all the ‘traders’ did was knock down a few bricks and then left not to be seen again.

The lady is very confused about the details of what has happened and is even unable to remember whether she called them or they knocked on her door. Her bank book reveals that she went to her local branch 8 times within a week and withdrew £2,500 each time. She does not know the name of any of the men she spoke to, their trading name or any details about them. We have been out to see the lady and have reassured her that we are here to help if the men reappear.

Elderly, vulnerable residents are being constantly targeted by conmen who have no moral scruples whatsoever to take as much money as they can from their targets. If you know of any information regarding rogue traders you think are operating in Solihull then please call us on 03454 04 05 06.

£250? ‘It’s only a pair of trainers. It’s not much is it?’


These were the words of Michael Anthony Gales after a policeman found cash on him during a search. Gales and his partner in crime Lee Davidson have each been sentenced to a year in prison for a series of callous rogue trading offences they carried out in the north east of England last year.

The pair targeted elderly victims, charging for work that was unnecessary and, in several instances, non-existent. They charged an 81 year old man suffering from dementia £250 for guttering work where all they did was climb up a ladder and sit on the roof. Another victim was driven to the bank to withdraw money but when he realised that he did not have his cash card was left to make his own way home.

See the full article here:


If you have any information about rogue traders operating in Solihull please call us on 03454 04 05 06.

Rogue traders and their Rogue IDs….


A father and son team have pleaded guilty to a series of fraud offences at Exeter Crown Court.

Thomas Johnson, previously prosecuted in 2009 for rogue trading offences in Surrey, flashed a meaningless identification badge when he met his victims. The company name on the ID had been dissolved and no longer existed. His vehicle also had orange lights on the top and reflective strips often seen on legitimate highway contractors’ vehicles.

The ‘work’ carried out by the Johnsons was charged far in excess of the going rate for driveway resurfacing improvements.

See the full article here:


If you think rogue traders are operating in Solihull please call us on 03454 04 05 06.

A look at a serial rogue trader


James Saunders was recently sentenced to three years in jail by Surrey County Court. His years of criminal activity displayed all the common traits of rogue trading and his story serves as a warning to all potential victims of this form of crime.

Saunders preyed mercilessly on elderly residents, unfortunately by far the most susceptible members of society to rogue trading. Nine victims were conned out of £104,000, one 89 year old man losing £42,000 on shoddy building work. Victims were driven to the bank, another common tactic used by these conmen to make sure they get their hands on the cash.

See the full article here:


Solihull Trading Standards want their residents to be safe from this type of crime. If you feel that you have been a victim of rogue traders or have information about criminal trading activities taking place in the borough please call us on 03454 04 05 06.

‘Free’ Burglar Alarms?….No thanks


Trading Standards authorities are warning residents about rogue burglar alarm sellers. A ‘free’ service could result in a contract costing £6000.

Have a look at the article below and beware!