Tricked out of £50 by con man

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A woman was tricked out of £50 by a con man who said he worked for the council.

And Craigavon Borough Council has issued a warning to the public following the incident in Lurgan.

It took place in William Street when she dropped a cigarette butt. A man impersonating an Environmental Warden approached her and said she had to pay an £80 fine for the offence, but if she paid him on the spot he could reduce it to £50.

The lady went to the ATM across the road and paid the man £50.

This incident happened two weeks ago but she only realised what had happened last weekend when someone advised her that Council staff do not take money from offenders on the street.

She reported the incident on Monday and Council has been spreading the message through the local media, social networking sites, community groups and organisations to try to ensure that this doesn’t happen again.

“This is a very worrying incident and the details have been reported to the PSNI,” said Alderman Arnold Hatch, Chair of the Environmental Services Committee.

“We would like to advise our residents that Council staff do not take money on the spot if you are caught littering or allowing your dog to foul. Rather, our Environmental Wardens will show you their official identification. If you are issued with a Fixed Penalty Notice, this is then paid to Council at a later date. We would urge anyone who is approached and asked for money in these circumstances to contact the PSNI immediately.”

Currently the fine for dropping litter is £80 and for allowing a dog to foul and not cleaning it up is £50. There is no reduction.

Anyone approached for an offence please remember: you will always be shown identification; you will never be asked to hand over any money: you will be given a Fixed Penalty Notice which details the various methods of payment; there is no reduced rate.

Anyone with any questions should contact the council on 028 3831 2400