Park users in St Helens are being urged to be cautious after two men posing as council dog wardens issued an on-the-spot ‘fine’ for dog fouling.
The elderly dog owner was approached by two men claiming to be council employees.
They told the man, who was walking his dog in the Carr Mill area of St Helens, they had seen him failing to clean up after his pet.
The fraudsters then demanded an £50 cash payment which, if he did not pay up, would be increased to £80.
The victim handed over the cash and the pair fled in a silver van.
Town hall bosses are now warning residents to be on the look-out for similar scams, warning that bona-fide council workers will never demand cash payment on the spot.
Mike Petersen, principal environmental health officer for St Helens Council, said: “Fixed Penalty Notices are often used by the council to deal with less serious criminal offences – failing to clear up dog faeces and littering are common examples.
“However, in such cases, a person would never be asked for cash payment on the street.
“Any resident approached by someone claiming to be operating on behalf of the council should ask for an official identification badge, which all of our staff carry.”
If you think you’ve been a victim of fraud, contact Merseyside Police on the non-emergency 101 number or Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.
Any leaflets or documentation should be kept and if possible a note made of the registration of any vehicle that the fraudster was using.