2 June 2005
Waitakere City Council, the New Zealand Fire Service and the local Licensing Trusts are warning against a con-man operating in the Glendene Area.
Recently a shop keeper in Te Atatü South was approached by a man claimed to be working for the City Council. He asked to inspect a fire extinguisher which had been given to the woman as part of a community donation by the Waitakere and Portage Licensing Trusts. He then declared that the extinguisher was faulty and sold the woman another one for $200.
Deputy Chief Fire Officer Peter Wilding says a similar scam has been attempted on the North Shore. “We are very concerned that people are claiming to represent the Council or Fire Service to extort money from trusting members of the public” he said.
Murray Spearman, Chief Executive of The Trusts (Waitakere and Portage) says: “This is pretty low – around 60,000 fire extinguishers were given away in this hugely successful community safety initiative and it is just disgusting that someone should try and take advantage of it like this.”
Homeowners are advised to ask for identification if they are approached by anyone making similar claims to the con-man. They are also advised to contact the Police immediately.
Mr Wilding says that for piece of mind, people with extinguishers provided by the Trusts can check the readiness of the equipment simply by looking at the gauge on the top. If the needle is in the green area, it is ready for use.