Hidden camera series where an an acting rogue tradesman tries to rip people off in their own homes using well-known con tricks to show us all how easy it can be to be taken in.
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Let's be honest, there's nothing more frustrating than when
something goes wrong in your house. Last year, we spent a staggering
�15 billion on house repairs. But how can we tell if we've got a good
deal, or if we've been taken to the cleaners?
How much? 22 5? Just for today �500 if it's cash. Probably about �7,500.
We've been secretly filming up and down the UK and reveal how
shockingly easy it could be for you, yes, you, to be duped. I'm afraid
you've been ripped off, he's not a bona fide tradesman. He's not?
I been done. I've been done... Maybe. And this is the bit I love.
We expose the UK's most outrageous tradesmen rip offs. One of the
worst conservatories I'd ever seen, needed pulling down and starting
again. The house was a death trap. No other word for it - conned.
Coming up, as our road tradesman met his match, a cautious consumer
from Bedfordshire isn't falling for Roger's dirty tricks. That's all
I've got. You're a tough fella, I'm not going to start a punch up with
you. The astonishing tricks of a landscaper who conned a cautious
homeowner out of �80,000. All the lies he told everybody, he needed a
very good memory to do all of that. The lady who is nearly conned out
of several hundred pounds. Burnt the cable, wish me luck. Stand by
for dirty tricks of the tradesmen. Hello. I'm not a tradesman. I
wouldn't know how to rewire a house, fit tiles on a roof or service a
boiler. That's why we need professionals. The vast majority do
a terrific job, but there is a minority who turn rogue. They can
make our lives a misery. People from all over the country
are telling us their shocking stories of being ripped off by the
cowboys and many more are helping us to blow the secrets of the
rogues by setting up their friends and family for a visit from our
very own tradesman, all to show you how to avoid being taken for a ride.
Meet Roger Bisby, with 40 years experience, there's little he
doesn't know about the building game.
If there's one thing he doesn't like, it's conmen, cashing in,
using dirty tricks. But we are asking Roger to become a
rogue, just for today. Why? Because if he shows us what the tricky
tradesmen do, he can show us how not to get conned.
We are setting up small property problems and sending Roger round to
show us how easy it is to be tricked into unnecessary work. It's
being filmed in secret and he's working with our cameraman Luke,
who is pretending to be Roger's apprentice. We'll discover the
location of their first sting in just a moment.
Did you know, 4 faulty wiring is responsible for thousands of
accidental house fires a year, so keeping our wiring in good nick is
absolutely essential. Now, some rogues will use our fears about
home safety to trick the unwary into unnecessary work. Charm is a
32-year-old student from North London. She's asked us to set up
Carla Johnson, her best friend since primary school, who lives
nearby. She's telling Carla that she has a wiring problem and needs
her to house sit while she pops out. I just said to her, there are some
men coming round to sort something out in the kitchen, I've left some
money, she needs to get a receipt and try not to use all the money up.
Charm has left �100, but knowing our tricky tradesman Roger, I
expect he'll soon relieve her of that, as he slips into his secret
filming gear. He's planning a trick that involves the fuse box.
exotic location today is North London where we've come to look at
a suspicious smell around the fuse box. Luke, you've been shopping for
a magic box? I've got a magic box containing tea bags. What we are
going to do is pretend it's a filter that it will filter out the
unevenness in the electricity supply. We won't even connect it up.
I'll also introduce a bit of burnt wire. Hopefully that'll be enough
to persuade the lady that she needs to have all this elaborate
electronic equipment fitted. bags! Did I hear that correctly?
Good luck with that one, Roger. Once in, he'll pretend there's a
smell by the fuse box and while Luke keeps Carla busy, he'll plant
some burpbts wire. Finally, Roger can install the magic box of tricks
which he claims will keep Charm's house from burning down. When it
comes to repairing fuse boxes, a typical cost is around �200. Some
tradesmen may do the work on a no- fix no-fee basis, still we are
talking about a deadly trix ter. It's 5 o'clock when Roger arrives,
a little later than expected -- trickster. Hello. Hello, it's the
electrician. Hiya. You all right? Fine, thank
you. Sorry I kept you waiting. dear, Carla's fallen at the first
hurdle and not asked to see any proof of identity. That's the
kitchen. Fuse box. Do you want a bit of light on the subject. Do you
want it on the other side? I'll get the ladder and we'll flip it round.
So Roger is in and full of the joys of spring.
Every house you go in, they have televisions on. Meanwhile, Roger's
smoothie apprentice is telling Carla all about his weekend plans.
It's a crazy place on a Saturday night. Belly top and shorts...
exactly. Can't f can't believe it. Struggle
up the stairs. Should have sent your apprentice. He's too busy
using the tried and tested technique of gaining Carla's
confidence. Luke. I don't want to trouble you, but any chance you
could give me a hand. Sorry. I was just chatting. You're a nightmare.
When I do it, Luke, it's called chatting up, when you do it it's
called harassment, all right. soon before he springs trick one?
There is a bit of a smell. I'm not being rude, but do you mind... Can
I trouble you for a cup of tea? Nice cup of tea and nice
distraction technique. Roger's cue to scarper and get what he needs
for his next trick while Luke keeps Carla busy. You stay there. I've
done all the heavy lifting. right. I've had a look, identified
the colour of the wire inside the fuse box which is very important
because I don't want to put the wrong colour wire in. Now I'm going
to burn a bit of kainl up, insert that into the fuse box and show
them the terrible result -- bit of cable. This trick is common. Conmen
will create convincing props which they can plant at the scene. They
can use them to invent problems where none exist, or to take a
minor problem and make it seem more serious.
The bigger the issue, the more they can charge to fix it, but Carla's
only expecting to pay �100. We are ready to go. Burnt the cable. Wish
me luck. It's nearly 5.20 and Roger has his second trick ready to roll.
He's never certain how they'll unfold, but this one looks pretty
devious to me. Press this button on the top one. OK, if you press it.
He's answering the door as well now. All right Roger: You've moved in,
you're answering the door now. We have a cup of tea? Lovely. He says
if you made it or something. that a bit strong? Love strong tea.
Anything you can stand a spoon up in. Nice cup of tea by the way.
Very good. I mentioned it first, not you, oh, yes, a very nice cup
of tea. Steady on! With great care, Roger places the burnt cable inside
the fuse box and Carla has no idea it's happening.
Right. What is going on here, is you're get ago spike across the
power supply. Do you want to have a look at this or not? Interested in
electrics? No. A bit of burnt cable up here. OK. It's quite honestly I
should test every single one of the circuits, so I'll stick a box on it
which will iron out the spikes, yes. If I don't do that then it could
catch fire. So, if I do it now, I'll give you a nice discount
because you are a nice person making nice tea. How much? �230.
All in hrbgs including the box. real? Yes, for real. -- all in,
including the box. For real, Roger. So, how will Carla handle this
shocker? I'm sure that's OK. Oh, my God, I don't know... How will she
react when she realises there's been a con. Really? Where's my
money?! Where's my money?! Now, if Roger's fuse box antics
seem hard to believe, they pail in comparison to the dangerous tricks
played by real rogue electricians. In the next astonishing story from
the West Midlands, the law caught up with a conman involved before
his lethal wiring caused a serious accident.
Wolverhampton is the home of a reck blst tradesman called Lee Norton.
Over a decade he's picked up two prison sentences for the shocking
tricks he's played on local home owners as Trading Standards officer
Peter value vert recalls. Calvert. This trader is a serial
offender. He's probably put the lives of up to 25 people at risk.
The work was shoddy, people lost a lot of money and were lucky to
escape without being injured. Lee Norton was notorious for using
the gift of the gab to mislead his victims. Among them was mother of
four Sharon Robinson. He put my kids in danger, ripped me
off. I'm still so angry with him, I could kill him.
In 2007, Sharon bought a new home for her family in Wolverhampton.
She had big plans for creating a dream home and was excited about
moving in, though she knew the house would need some renovation.
bought the house in October 2007. It needed completely renovating,
include ago rewire. I wanted it to be done as soon as possible.
Someone recommended the electrician to me and I thought OK, he's
available, he can do the work. You'd think that a personal
recommendation would be a good way of finding a reliable tradesman,
but Sharon was unlikely given Lee Norton's contact details.
Little did she know that he wasn't a trained electrician, nor approved
by any trades organisation. He concealed this from his clients
and that was always his first dirty trick. My first impression of this
electrician was that he had an attitude, he was ah gants --
arrogant, very smarmy and I wouldn't like bumping into him on a
dark alley. The kids' impression was literally the same my daughter
didn't want him doing the work, but we needed it done as soon as
possible and he was the electrician that was available. On the first
meeting, we went through every room rbgs decided how many plug sockets,
where the light switches were going and everything. Need add complete
rewire. He just said he could do it stpraigt away and it would cost
�2,000. -- straightaway. When he started, I didn't question any
of his work, he said he was qualified. He promised I'd have a
certificate at the end of it. I know nothing about electrics, so I
just left him to carry on. Norton had caught out Sharon with
another classic trick as he blinded her with science about what he
could do. And she let him continue, hoping that family life would
return to normal. Just as it cloocked like the work
was coming to an end, he hit Sharon with another trick changing the
goalposts of the work they'd agreed. Towards the end of the job being
finished, he said he he wouldn't be back for a couple of days because
he was going on holiday to New York and he needed the payment before he
went for the work and that he'd be back when he came back from holiday
to finish the work. So I paid him the �2,000, he gave me an
electrical certificate which, at the time, I did think it was a
genuine electrical certificate. there was no end to Norton's tricks.
The certificate he gave Sharon was a forgery.
After he'd came back off holiday because he was going for about four
days I think, he didn't turn up to finish what he was supposed to
finish and so I phoned him on numerous occasions and he never got
back to me. When he wasn't returning my calls,
I was getting really angry. person you are calling is unable to
take your call... I thought, what can I do. So I got in touch with
Trading Standards. At this point, Sharon just wanted
the job finished for the �2,500 she'd agreed. When Trading
Standards came to her aid, they discovered that Norton had done far
more than rip her off, he'd spent the previous two weeks gradually
turning her dream home into a death trap. Peter Calvert's come back to
You can see the original boiler location. The wire that goes up
into the ceiling, when the electrician pulled it, that came
down. And that was live. It was live under my daughter's bed. She
was 12 at the time. That is not good. You could have had a fire up
there. Yeah, could have had a fire any time. Loose livewires weren't
the only problem. The fuse box situated in the corner of the
dining room was left uncovered. Norton's dangerous work could have
proved fatal. There is a gap there where there should be four fuses.
That is live. That's straight to the mains out through the wall.
one of the children had of touched it, they would have had no chance.
They could have been electrocuted. There was still more shocking news
for mum, Sharon. Can you tell me what happened upstairs with the
rewiring? Basically, they put the wires through joists. Then squashed
the floorboards down. If you walk on that over time, you will start
to get the cable heating up and it could have caused a fire. This was
probably the worst job we had ever seen from this trader. The house
was basically a deathtrap with lots of live wires left, lack of earth
circuits and a danger that the wiring would overheat and cause a
fire. As part of their case against Lee Norton, Peter's team at
Wolverhampton Trading Standards sent in a surveyor to check the
work at Sharon's home. The property had not been rewired in any valid
sense of the word, installation was unsafe. The main dangers were risk
of electric shock from unearthed sockets and lighting points and a
risk of fire from overheating of cables. Both pose a threat to human
life. The case was conclusive and Sharon was one of three victims
whose case led to Lee Norton's conviction in 2009. We prosecuted
for Trade Descriptions Act offences and one charge of fraud. He was
imprisoned by the Crown Court for two years. He served 12 months
inside and then had a year's licence. Unfortunately, offended on
licence and got recalled for a month. After that, we had further
complaints about unsafe electrical work and this time we went for an
enforcement order under the Enterprise Act which bans him from
carrying out shoddy work in the future. We haven't heard anything
from him since. Sharon considers herself very lucky to have escaped
without injury to herself or her children. But Norton has turned her
life upside-down and left her seriously out-of-pocket. A total of
�4,500 in all. Since Lee Norton's been here, I have had to have a lot
more work done than originally needed doing. Because of the danger
left, it has had to be rewired again. I have had to sell my car to
fund it. Because it left me out-of- pocket by ripping me off. Worrying
times for Sharon, but she has taken something from her traumatic
experience. Not all electricians were available. Somebody did say to
me that you learn later. The ones that are very busy are the ones
that you should employ. We have another extraordinary story later,
the Derbyshire woman ripped off to the tune of almost �80,000 by a
conman who was only supposed to fit a new fence. Everything that I had
worked for has gone. He's ruined my life. Plus, in our quest to show
you how not to be ripped off, Roger plays more devious tricks on a
consumer in Bedfordshire. Look, look at all this. There's a fair
amount of old gunge in there one way or another. First, time to find
out what Carla Johnson in London makes of our cowboy. She is house-
sitting for Charm who has told her that the fuse box needs some work
and she is expecting it to cost �100 to fix. �230. For real? Yeah,
for real. Roger has burnt cables and is placing props to make the
job seem larger. Now he wants to charge more than drubl. OK, I have
put the piece of burnt cable in there. -- double. I have told her
the house could burn down. I need to put in this magic box which will
smooth everything out and make everything OK. She's not that happy
about that. She thinks that is a lot of money, �230. We might give
her a bit of discount. Let's see how we go. As a loyal house-sitter,
Carla understandably wants to check in with her friend, Charm, who
asked her to keep an eye on Roger in the first place. Charm is
waiting around the corner with our production team. You all right?
Yeah. It's going to cost �230. my God. You are kidding me! What do
they need to do? They have to put a box on to stop the spike in
electricity. Tell him he has to do it. He can't leave the house
without finishing that job. When they gave me a quote, they
said it would be no more than �100. All right. All right, then. Bye.
Bye. Bye. Some friend you are, Charm! So, Carla has �100 which
Charm left but Roger wants �230. So her dilemma is where does the money
come from? Her own pocket? I spoke to my friend. She said she spoke to
your manager today, whoever it was, and he said it's not going to cost
more than �100. He is an idiot. said it has to be sorted out.
Otherwise it would be dangerous to leave it. I can do it for �100 cash
but we will have to send an invoice for the rest of it. Yeah? That's -
I'm sure that is OK. I don't know. Oh my God! Yeah. I would rather not
invoice. Obviously, I have to put the 20% on top. The VAT, yeah?
Carla is well and truly stuck here. Her friend Charm says the work must
be done. Roger wants �100 now and the rest later plus VAT on top. The
tradesman's insistence leaves her with very few options. She's only
got �100. Mind you, �100, box with a piece of wire in it, there is
nothing in it and we can be out of here. Nothing apart from tea bags!
Easy money and with 40 minutes gone the third trick is ready to be
sprung. I'm going to put this box in. Is it possible for you to leave
a receipt? Yeah. One last-ditch -- in one last-ditch attempt to gain
control, Carla demands a receipt. Roger is more than willing to
oblige. His receipts are fake and therefore untraceable. It is going
to be back on. There it is, trick three. Roger's magic power
regulator box slots into place. Before he collects his �100 there
is time for one extra con. Can he turn Carla's friendship with Charm
to his advantage? How good a friend are you? If I had a friend, if
anybody was my friend, they would give their last penny for me.
don't have a last penny. OK. really won't budge. Roger's played
the three tricks he planned in record time. Now it is time to
collect the cash and go. �100? OK. That's all right. That's fine.
That's lovely. OK. �100 cash for just one hour's work. Doing
nothing! Roger's picked up around the same rate as a commercial pilot
or a trainee solicitor. What's more, he will invoice for another �130.
Today, Carla Johnson did her friend a favour. She house-sat while a
dodgy tradesman came to fit the fuse box. Roger's three tricks
included fitting a useless power box, full of tea bags, and he
walked away with �100. With Roger around the corner, it is time for
our producer to step in and reveal the truth to Carla. We are doing
some investigating in the area about people who are doing jobs
that aren't very satisfactory, basically. OK. And who were coming
in asking for quite a lot of money but not doing the work. That just
happened to me. They just left. have been a victim of a scam.
LAUGHTER Really?! Why you got my dressing gown on? I was getting in
the shower! I just believed everything that he was saying. I
thought they were a couple of nice guys. They obviously knew what they
were talking about. I let them get on with it. Where's my money?!
can't believe this has happened. You never think it would happen to
you and it has. This is a filter box. I put these in because they
filter out the electricity... God! I always find tea bags - you
can use filter coffee. I find tea bags better. Definitely learnt
something. I would ask for a bit more information at the door first
of all. Maybe ID badges. What company they are from. Yep. And
what was the price given to you before we were half-way through the
job? Thank you. I will have a better night out now! LAUGHTER
Thanks for being such a great sport, Carla. What can we learn from her
experience? First, always get at least three written quotes for a
job. Second, do your best to check tradesmen's credentials. Don't ever
be talked into accepting work on the spot. If a tradesman is pushing
you like that, seriously, think twice. We are all frightened of
shifty people knocking on our door. More than half of all bogus caller
crimes in the UK are carried out by criminals who pretend to be from
the water company. So please check their ID. Roger is up to more
tricks in Bedfordshire. He's been called in by Harrison Goode who
would like to set up his dad, Colin, a quality assessor for a car
manufacturer. If they do come round, like electricians, he will always
be there looking over their shoulder, seeing what is going on.
He doesn't let them do their own thing. He likes to keep an eye on
them. Mmm, Colin could be Roger's toughest challenge yet. Harrison's
parents are due back from their holiday this very day. He's already
told them a tall story about the kitchen sink being blocked and he's
arranged for a plumbing friend of their neighbour to come around. I
wonder how they will take to the sight of Roger in their kitchen.
Our cowboy is keeping things simple. He will create evidence of a
blockage using a big ball of grease. His second trick will be to
overcharge Colin for cleaning it out. Finally, he will try to boost
his income by selling Colin some pipe linings which he doesn't need.
A callout charge for a plumber costs �50 so if Roger can make
another �275 on top, it will be a massive profit. Roger and Luke pull
up just after 2.00. Colin and Angela are only just in from the
airport. This is the last thing they need. We got the right house?
You come to look at the drain? I was away. My boys were here and
said it backed up. Did you come last time? Yeah. I have just come
home. It's managed to go away. It's running. Last time it was full up.
OK. Could I have a quick look? through. Sure? Yeah. Colin seems
very trusting. If it was me, I would be demanding to see their
credentials, but no it is straight to the conservatory to assess the
drainage pipes. I will run the old plunger down to see what happens.
OK, we have had a look at the drain. It looks fairly OK. Nice fella. We
will have a quick look to see if we can discover a big grease ball in
his gully! We will add an ingredient to this. Makes it small
like a washing machine. But will Roger be able to carry out his
trick if Colin is going to watch his every move? First, he is going
to lie and say that there is still a blockage. It is backing up a bit.
Colin isn't being drawn in and he is watching Roger like a hawk.
Could he be suspicious about our I see. Oh I see what you are saying
to me now. I understand. It's not been a problem really before.
understand what you are saying. Blimey. Want me to get a new one?
You don't miss a trick. I bet you will try and overcharge him for
that, too! I have some good fixing tape for that. Normally I pull that
out, take it in the garden and give it a wash. It must be frustrating
for Roger to deal with such a capable consumer. He will have to
think of a rouse to give him time By getting Colin involved, Roger's
managed to distract him from what he's doing. What line of business
do you work in? Yes, good old Luke, minutes to carry out his dirty
trick. Unbelievable. But, it's not too long before Colin comes out to
check what Roger's up to. Did you say you got no blockage at all with
this one? None at all. It's all right is it? Oh, look. Loads in
there. Do you see all that stuff coming out. That's all caked up in
washing powder. Well done, Roger. At last, looks as if you have
managed to get one over on Colin after all.
How will Colin react though when Roger presents his bill.
That's all I've got or nothing at all. And will our cow bicep Colin's
ultimatum? You're a tough fella, I'm not going to start a punch-up
with you. -- cowboy. If conmen show up on
your doorstep, it usually leads to mayhem. The rogue here though got
his just desserts. The Derbyshire Dales seem far
removed from the urban hunting grounds of double crossing
tradesmen. But this countryside plays a key role in the dirty
tricks by this Midlands rogue who got �200,000 before Derbyshire
police caught up with him. It was DC Steven Fuller who finally felt
his collar. We'd engage people who he'd known
in the past, he'd often do landscaping work for them, he'd
gain their confidence and he'd rip them off. Farrell's first trick,
always to do a good job and use that as a means of returning to
reek havoc later. One of his victims has agreed to share her
story with us. She was traumatised so much that she wanted us to
shield her. I was quite happy, paid him in cash and didn't expect to
ever see him again. �300 for a job well done. Two years later, he came
back and Denise agreed to pay him for a new driveway, but she wanted
him to wait until he came out of hospital for an operation. Then she
contracted MRSA and even as she battled serious illness, she found
heshes on the receiving end of his dirty tricks -- she found herself.
Started sending me a lot of texts, approximately seven a day. If I
didn't respond to them, he'd have a text temper tantrum.
O'Farrell said he wanted to runner rands for Denise, but while he kept
hundred his charade of concern, he was planning to spring his most
audacious trick -- run er rands. said he had a once in a lifetime
opportunity to be able to purchase a small piece of land which he
could develop. The idea he was keen to portray was that the land was a
development opportunity, it was land that at the moment was vacant
and there would be a profit available for the victims. They
would ask him if they could come with him to look at the land and
the developments, but he'd always stall them for find a reason why
they couldn't two with him. That's because the land didn't
exist. But O' Farrell tricked his victims with forged bank statements,
to convince people like Denise to come up with the money. I gave him
�3,000 and I thought, I'll go for this, it's risky, but then so
investing in the stock market. whole thing was bogus. We have
never found any evidence of this development project and never
managed to identify the area that O' Farrell intended to develop.
Denise had been completely taken in by his caring nature and
persistency. It's only when he played his final and most
astonishing trick that Denise suspected something might be amiss.
He started saying he was falling in love with me and how did I feel
about it, saying that he wanted to buy a house, maybe for him and me,
and I started getting quite alarmed by that because I thought it was a
very bizarre thing for a 40-year- old man toe be doing to -- man do
be doing to a woman of my age. I thought he was mentally ill. Even
though she doubted him, she still ended up paying him �78,600 for his
bogus land scheme. She only suspected her error when he became
evasive and demanded even more money.
I started asking for a meeting with his solicitor because I'd had text
messages from his solicitor when actually they were text messages
from O' Farrell because he didn't have a solicitor, obviously. He
then started talking about how he was being declared bankrupt and
asking me to lend him more money to stave off the bankruptcy.
What's more, while running rings around Denise, O' Farrell was
playing the same trick on 20 other people. Amazingly, he pocketed more
than �200,000 in the course of just six months. It wasn't long before
the victims started complaining to Derbyshire Police. To be able to
carry off a fraud like this over a prolonged period of time, to be
able to engage each of the different victims, to be automobile
to remember all the lies he told everybody, you needed a very good
memory to be able to do that. O' Farrell was convicted February
2011 of fraud and sentenced to six years eight months. Unfortunately
for the victims who simply wanted new fences and driveways, it's
unlikely they'll see their money again.
There's no chance of getting any compensation from anywhere and I
had worked extremely hard throughout my life. The money's
gone. He's absolutely ruined my life. Denise regrets not being more
vigilant and wishes she tried harder to check his background and
gather evidence of his land scheme to investigate.
He'd always took the documents away with him and kept them very firmly
in his hands. I saw the building plans, the letter from the bank and
they were the only ones I actually saw.
Anybody can fall victim to fraud. If it does happen, then that person
shouldn't feel ashamed because we've done nothing wrong. We are
the victims. Our thanks to Denise for sharing
that and remember, it's always gost use a written contract with
tradesmen as it will offer you protection if anything wrotes wrong.
What about Roger? He's been called in by Roger's son Harrison using
the excuse that the sink was blocked. Roger's out of his sight.
What line of business do you work in? I work at... Without a timely
distraction from Luke, he wouldn't have been able to plant his prop
blockage. Oh, here you are, look. With the gunk in place, Roger has
dragged it out in front of Colin as evidence to justify his visit and
of course his fee. Look at all this, look. A fair
amount of gunge in there really, one way or another. Oh, dear.
Roger's efforts appear to have been in vain. Will he have any more luck
trying another trick here? Getting Colin to go for a bigger job.
don't think it needs relining or anything like that? It's fine. You
want to save your money. Colin is having none of it and is ewhen even
questioning the need for his call Yeah. That's all right. So
basically you are saying you didn't really want me in the first place.
You got saddled with me? When I come home and Jake wasn't here, the
drain's not blocked, I didn't have a contact number or anything.
would have said don't bother and we could have gone on to the next job.
Fairness. Yes. All right. OK. happy just to leave it.
How will he react to the money Roger wants for this non-existent
job? We'll call it the call out for the job, yes, which is �175 cash.
I said to you at the door, it's fine, you wanted to come in and
have a look. We were here by then. Today, Colin let a tricky tradesman
into his house, he kept a close watch on everything Roger did. But
our rogue still planted a fake grease ball in the drain. Now he's
demanding �175 cash for the call out fee. Colin's been a very on the
So, not exactly the �175 Roger was hoping for. It's up to you. Take it
and that's it. How about splitting the difference, �100? Honestly,
that's all I've got or nothing at all because I wasn't willing to let
you in the door to start with, but you insisted so take your money.
you're a tough fella. I'd rather get some more money out of you but
I'm not going to start a punch-up with you. You're an ice hockey guy
so you look a bit better built than me. We were hoping it might be a
bigger job. We always live in hope. Fair enough, I don't want to fall
out with you, mate, so I'll just have to take that and cry, really.
We'll go on to our next job, better get on with it and not waste any
more time. Fair enough mate, cheers. This consumer saw through all the
tricks and refused to budge an inch. A great example to us all. Well
built. A big lad. With Roger off site, it's time for our producer to
visit Colin and put him in the picture about dirty tricks. Sorry
to bother you. We have been chatting to some of your neighbours
in the street about the fact that whether they've had any experiences
with people like painters, electricians, plumbers. Is that
relevant to you? I don't know whether this is psychic because I
just had a couple of gentlemen looking at my plumbing just about
two minutes ago. I told him to leave. I knew there was something
suspicious from the start, the way he was acting and trying to create
a job. I'm not stupid. Let's see how Colin reacts to the
news his son Harrison set him up. Has he?! Are you serious, hey
reason son? You are out of order. I knew there was a scam going on
about trying to drag out the time to make the job last a lot longer
than it should have done. How could you do that to me?! Whatever he was
doing, it seemed to be taking longer, I could have done it
quicker myself. Why did you give me so little money. Were you in on
this as well? Oh, my days! Make sure you know what they are going
to be looking at and what the charges will be before they get in
the door. If you are phoning them, make sure you understand that at
the start of the conversation. not going to charge you for the
pipe because you said to me, don't do it, I'll do it myself so fair
enough. I tried to badger you into the job and you wouldn't have it.
No. You kept trying to create work and I thought, what's he doing,
told him there was nothing wrong, happy to fix it myself. I think I'm
losing my charm. Always watch the people doing the work and if you
don't think they're doing anything, say to them, sometimes you know
when things aren't right. Colin, you're a real star. You can
An audacious hidden camera series with Chris Hollins. An acting rogue tradesman tries to rip people off in their own homes using well-known con tricks to show us all how easy it can be to be taken in.
The last thing Colin from Bedfordshire needs when he flies home from holiday is a blocked pipe in his conservatory, particularly when the blockage was faked by our pretend rogue plumber. Will Roger get the better of this cautious consumer when he removes the lump of grease? Elsewhere, will sparks fly when he tries to con house-sitter Carla over a new wiring job?
Plus, a feature on the Derbyshire landscaper whose devious tricks enabled him to pocket more than 200,000 pounds from his twenty victims.