POLICE have found the two men at the centre of a door-to-door fish selling scam in Mossley, but are unable to prosecute them.
The Correspondent reported two elderly women in Top Mossley had each been persuaded to buy £176 of fish.
Cllr Tafheen Sharif, who was contacted by one of the victims, said:
“Please be vigilant. It has been reported to the police who have been able to stop these guys from Sunderland but cannot charge them as a ‘crime’ has not been committed.
“They were found on Carrhill Road. I have informed Trading Standards who are the appropriate authority to investigate it.
“I am now arranging to get rid of the large quantity of poor quality fish that has been aggressively sold to elderly, vulnerable Mossley residents who had been targeted.
“Please be on the lookout and if you see any further activity get in touch with Trading Standards or myself firstname.lastname@example.org
Phil Cumberworth contacted the Correspondent to alert residents after his 84-year-old mother and another pensioner who lived a few doors away were each persuaded to buy £176 worth of fish.
He explained both women had bought 20 packs of fish on polystyrene trays.
Phil added both victims were asked to pay £20 cash with the remainder taken from their credit cards.
The fish was packaged North Shore Fish, Durham, with the two men described as being Geordies.
Phil said: “When I googled North Shore Fish I couldn’t find them but a link to a story in the Swindon Advertiser about a similar fishing scam in Wiltshire.
“I want to warn others. While my mother and the other lady weren’t robbed, there is no way they would willingly buy £176 fish.”
The 2015 story from the Swindon Advertiser told of two men being arrested over a door-to-door fish selling scam.
Police said in that article that salesmen from the North of England had been involved in conning people into buying amounts of fresh fish they did not want at high prices.
The article added Operation Arwen, a National Trading Standards initiative had been launched to target the selling of fish door to door.
The victims are often told to enter their card PINs without checking the amount charged. It is only later that the amounts paid are discovered to be excessive.
There are various tactics and techniques used, such as telling the victim to go outside in direct sunlight to complete the transaction and holding the machine into the sun at the time payment is requested.
The receipts are often put in the bags of fish, which means the receipt becomes wet and unreadable.