By BRIDGET COOK
POLICE have warned people of a tree lopping scam targeting Casey residents to ensure they don’t fall victim to the con.
Sergeant Terry Lloyd said the warning came after an Endeavour Hills family was targeted last week.
However police have since realised the issue was far more widespread.
The most recent incident occurred on Friday when a group of men turned up to house in Endeavour Hills and offered to remove a number of trees.
The men then removed a number of trees on Friday and returned on Saturday to remove more.
The victim then handed over the full payment and the workers agreed to return another day to remove the stumps and handed over a business card.
Sgt Lloyd said the victim then called the number on the business card on Monday when the men failed to show up, and discovered the business card belonged to a legitimate business who knew nothing about the works.
Sgt Llyod said since putting a warning out about the scam on Facebook, police have received reports of similar incidents happening all over Casey.
“We have had reports of people knocking on doors and offering their services, taking full payment and not completed the work they agreed to do,” he said.
“They often give a false phone number of business card over.
“This is not an isolated group doing it, we have had lots of different descriptions.”
Sgt Lloyd said he wanted to warn people of what was going on so they don’t become a victim.
“My advice is to not pay upfront, but wait until the work is completed,” he said.
“Also, make sure the person has public indemnity insurance to ensure they are a legitimate business.
“In some cases people are not committing a criminal offence, but it could end up in a civil dispute over whether the works had been done to the satisfaction agreed upon.”
Anyone who experiences a similar incident or has any information is urged to contact their local police station, as well as take a description of the offenders and any vehicle used.