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I Thought It Was Real: Woman in Buntingford Scammed After Divorce and Cancer Diagnosis

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Buntingford resident, Georgina Schwann, has shared her heartbreaking story of going through a divorce and being diagnosed with cancer, only to fall victim to a scam. Georgina was tricked into paying £20,000 to rogue tradesmen who promised to do home improvements for her. The company had received excellent five-star ratings on Facebook and Google, which made Georgina believe they were trustworthy. However, it turned out to be a lie.

Andrew Bradshaw, co-founder of a local building preservation and property care company called TRC, and Georgina Schwann herself, discuss this unfortunate situation.

Georgina, can you tell us what happened and how you ended up being scammed?

Georgina: “It’s really sad. I feel like I should have known better, but I trusted them. After my divorce and finishing my cancer treatment, I needed a new home for my son and me. I was advised by a real estate agent that adding a conservatory to the house would make it more valuable. I researched builders online and found ones with great reviews. Then, these guys cold-called me and convinced me that they were a family business expanding into conservatories. I thought it would be a nice way to spend my money and support their business. So, I went with them because they offered a low quote and I trusted them.”

Andrew, as a co-founder of a local building preservation company, what advice do you have for Georgina and others to avoid falling victim to cowboy builders? What can they do if they are scammed?

Andrew: “It’s unfortunate that there are review platforms where anyone can leave reviews, even if they’re not genuine. It’s important to be cautious. Look for independent review channels like reviews.co.uk or Trustpilot, where the reviews are verified. Also, try to choose builders who are members of reputable trade associations. These associations vet their members and provide access to mediation and arbitration services in case of disputes. If someone is scammed, they can contact trading standards or consider taking the case to the small claims court. It’s important not to give up and to seek help from professionals.”

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Georgina, is there any resolution to your situation? How are you dealing with it?

Georgina: “Unfortunately, I still have a big hole in my garden and a pile of rubble. It’s not safe for my son to play outside. I’m working four days a week and taking care of my son the rest of the time. I started a GoFundMe page because even if I could just build a patio and remove the debris, it would make a difference. I’m trying my best, but it’s not easy.”

We hope that Georgina finds a solution to her situation soon. This serves as a reminder for everyone to be cautious and thorough when dealing with tradesmen. It’s essential to verify reviews and consider professionals affiliated with trustworthy trade associations. Let’s support each other and work towards preventing such scams from happening in the future.

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Birminghamgist Staff is a News Reporter, making waves in the UK with insightful and Engaging reporting.

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