Woman pays £88 for bag of out-of-date fish in scam

Have your say

An elderly woman was conned by a rogue trader who walked into her home and sold her a bag of inedible fish.

Police have issued a warning after a Blackpool woman paid £88 for out-of-date whiting after she was confronted by a man in her home.

The woman was alone in her home in central Blackpool, when she saw the man in the hallway holding several bags of fish, having apparently let himself in on Wednesday.

According to police, he then demanded £156 for the fish when she asked what he was doing.

She ended up paying £88 for one bag of fish that she thought was salmon and haddock in an attempt to get him to leave.

However, the fish turned out to be inedible whiting that would have only cost £25 if it had been fresh.

A spokesman for Lancashire Police said: “She saw a male carrying three carrier bags go through her front gate and the next minute he was inside her house.

“He probably didn’t expect anyone to be home and at that point she asked him what he was doing. He said he was selling fish. He showed her three bags of fish and said he wanted £156 for it. The lady, taken aback, said she didn’t have that kind of money in her house. He asked her what kind of fish she wanted.”

Eventually the woman agreed to buy one bag of fish for £88.

The police spokesman said: “She gave him the money to get rid of him. The woman’s daughter took the bag of fish to a local reputable fishmonger and was told that it was a bag of whiting that was out of date, not fit for human consumption and if it had been fresh she would only have paid around £25 for it.”

The man was described as around 5ft 7ins with a Manchester accent. The man drove a white Transit van with black writing on the side that may have said “Fleetwood”.

Residents are urged to report any suspicious behaviour or sightings of the man to police by calling 101.