A pensioner who said he could never be conned is warning others after he fell foul of a rogue trader.
Keith Hever, of Birkby, handed over £2,800 to a man who talked him into having his driveway tarmaced.
But just two weeks after he paid the thousands in cash weeds and flowers began to sprout out of the freshly laid surface.
Furious Keith, 73, has now realised he’s been scammed as the man who did the work left no contact details and the promised official paperwork and guarantee have never arrived.
Keith says he hired the guy after seeing him working for a neighbour.
Neighbour John Fraser says he coughed up £7,000 for shoddy work on his drive.
Another neighbour also took him on and between the three projects they have found he netted almost £12,000.
Keith said all three projects were of a poor quality.
Efforts to trace the man have so far failed.
Police have said there’s nothing they can do.
Keith, who lives alone with his dog, said he was warning others not to fall victim to smooth talking tradespeople who don’t provide any paperwork up front and insist on cash payment.
He said: “When I see people taken in by these guys I’ve always said how stupid can you be.
“I’ve always said nobody can con me. I’ve turned away two from my door recently as I could tell they were dodgy.
“But I trusted this guy because he was working for a neighbour. I assumed she’d found him through word of mouth.
“Now it’s happened to me I can see how slick these guys are.
“He looked very respectable and he was clean shaven and wearing decent clothes.”
Keith, a retired decorator and engineer, added: “I was in the trades myself and I’ve seen cowboys in all trades.
“I got out in 1990 purely because of the cowboys, I was sick of them.”
Keith said the man who did his drive went by the name of George.
But he later found he had used a different name when working for his neighbours, claiming that he was called Jimmy.
Having told Keith he came from Leeds, the drive guy told his neighbours that he was from Barnsley.
He said he was persuaded to take him following a very professional sales pitch.
He showed him samples of resin drive colours and had a folder of testimonials of previous jobs that Keith now believes were faked or copied from another reputable paver.
He even took the time to drive him to an address in Grimescar to show him a new resin drive, claiming it was all his work.
Keith now doubts that was true.
The conman’s audacity was such that Keith discovered he had taken some of the paving removed from his old driveway and used it on the job at one of his neighbour’s.
In a bid to track the rogue tradesman down Keith has managed to get the registration number of the double cab Transit pick-up truck vehicle he was using.
The vehicle does not have a business name on it, but does have the words, ‘Tarmac, block paving and resin drives’.
Visit www.tradingstandards.uk for the latest advice on how to avoid scams and rogue traders.
But he has been unable to get his address.
He added: “I had no reason to doubt this guy.
“I didn’t bother to question where he had come from because he was so plausible.
“He’s very smart and he’s walking around with £10,000 to £12,000 in cash in his pocket every week.
“We don’t know his name or where he comes from.
“I’ve been to see the police but they say there’s nothing they can do so I really just want to get the word out to stop other people from getting scammed too.”