A warning has been issued after a pensioner was conned into handing over cash for an old TV set she was throwing out for nothing.
The 69-year-old, from Adlington, paid £5 to two men who said they were from the council and had come to collect the set.
But the conmen – who also had the cheek to ask if the TV was working and for its remote control – were opportunist thieves.
The victim did not want to talk about the incident personally.
However, her friend Jim McKenna explained: “I arrived at my friend’s house who was arranging with the council to have a large, old fashioned TV set removed. The council told her to put it in the garage and said be prepared to leave the doors open so they could remove it.
“My friend did this and was told someone would be round any time between 7am and 7pm to collect it.
“Mid-morning, two men called. She said, ‘are you from the council?’ They said, ‘yeah’.
“They said it would cost her £5. She said she thought it was free.
“They said, ‘is it working and have you got the remote control?’.
“She said ‘yeah’.”
He added: “She hadn’t felt comfortable at all.
“Considering they were supposed to be council people, she was quite taken aback. She did feel a bit intimidated. I didn’t like the idea she was as vulnerable as she was.”
The incident happened at around 10am on Tuesday.
Mr McKenna, 64, who lives in Standish, said his friend reported it to Chorley Council and said she was told they had heard of other incidents like it.
The men are described as being of Asian appearance. They turned up in a white van.
Chorley Council launched its Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) service in April having teamed up with Veolia Environmental Services and Recycling Lives, with unwanted electrical goods collected from home free of charge.
Coun Adrian Lowe, who looks after waste collections for Chorley Council, said: “This is an unpleasant incident for this lady which should not have happened.
“I cannot stress enough that we do not charge for this service and so no-one should be asking householders for any money.
“As far as I’m aware it is the first time it has happened since our WEEE collection started earlier this year.
“Our contractors for the WEEE collections are Recycling Lives and their vans are liveried as such, and the collection crew wear uniforms.
“However, if you are unsure, I’d rather you ring the council on 01257 515355 to check, and the collection crew would be happy to wait while you make the call, but please, don’t hand over any money.”