A north-east council has warned residents to be vigilant after a fraudster dressed as a local authority worker approached schools offering to paint road markings at a reduced price.
Aberdeenshire Council issued the alert after a headteacher was asked by a man posing as a member of the roads team.
The bogus workman told the teacher he had extra paint and his boss was offering it to the school at a cheap rate.
Once the work was finished, he presented the headteacher with a £400 bill minus VAT and details of a company whose website did not exist.
Another school in the region was approached by an individual offering to paint lines in the car park at £5 a metre.
The scammers also unsuccessfully targeted a third school but left because the headteacher was away.
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Aberdeenshire Council’s education chief, Laurence Findlay, said anyone approached by people offering to carry out work should ask for some form of identification and carry out proper research into the firm.
He said: “I would encourage any resident or business who is approached by individuals offering to undertake painting work at a reduced rate to check for identification or credentials that suggest the person you are speaking to is genuine.
“Undertake thorough research, which includes obtaining multiple quotes and seeking recommendations from friends and family.
“If an offer sounds too good to be then it usually is. I would urge anyone who is suspicious about a tradesperson to report it to Trading Standards and Police Scotland.
“There are plenty of useful hints, tips and information available on the scams page on the Trading Standards section of the Aberdeenshire Council website and on Aberdeenshire Trading Standards’ Facebook and Twitter accounts.”