Fife paving boss admits to £20,000 fraud spree

A paving company boss from Fife has pleaded guilty to four charges of fraud, after taking deposits from customers for work he never completed. James Henderson, 58, scammed his victims out of more than £20,000 between July 2021 and September 2022.

Victims slam Henderson as a “class A rogue”

Henderson, from Kingskettle, Fife, was exposed by Fife Council’s Trading Standards team, who submitted a report to the Procurator Fiscal. He had been due to face trial this month, but admitted to the charges at Kirkcaldy Sheriff Court.

One of his victims, Lorraine Brown, 60, said Henderson was “so plausible” when he offered to do her driveway. She transferred £4,000 to him as a 50% deposit, but he never showed up to do the work.

She said: “We were chasing and chasing through emails, phoning and texting. But it was excuse after excuse. He said family members had died multiple times, then he had Covid. He just never turned up.”

Lorraine said she posted about her experience on Facebook, and received messages from other people who had been conned by Henderson. She was lucky to get her money back from the bank, but others may not have been so fortunate.

Another victim, who did not want to be named, said Henderson caused them “a lot of stress” and they were relieved that he had pleaded guilty.

Henderson flaunted his lifestyle on social media

While Henderson was ripping off his customers, he was also boasting about his lifestyle on social media. He posted a picture of a flashy 4X4 with a personalised registration plate in September 2022, when he was already facing complaints from his victims.

Fife paving boss

He also advertised his paving services on social media, claiming to have a local business premises and a local phone number. However, these were likely to be fake, as scammers often use purchased numbers and short-term rentals to appear legitimate.

Henderson also had a website, where he displayed positive reviews from satisfied customers. However, these were contradicted by the negative reviews that appeared on other platforms, where he was branded a “class A rogue” and a “weekend millionaire”.

How to avoid rogue traders

Rogue traders are a common problem in the home improvement sector, especially during the spring and summer months when people are looking to get work done around their house and garden.

Police Scotland and Trading Standards have issued some advice on how to spot and avoid rogue traders, such as:

  • Requesting a No Cold Calling sticker from your local Trading Standards office
  • Asking for identification and proof of qualifications from the tradesperson
  • Consulting your local Trusted Trader Scheme via approvedtrader.scot and obtaining three quotes for any work
  • Checking to see if the contractor is a member of a trade association
  • Never feeling pressured into making a decision on the spot or paying in cash
  • Making sure you understand the terms and conditions, including cancellation rights
  • Making use of your cooling off period to think about the proposed work
  • Saying ‘No thank you’ and closing the door if you are not interested
  • Reporting any suspicious activity to 101 or calling 999 if you feel scared or threatened
By Axel Piper

Axel Piper is a renowned news writer based in Scotland, known for his insightful coverage of all the trending news stories. With his finger on the pulse of Scotland's ever-changing landscape, Axel brings the latest updates and breaking news to readers across the nation. His extensive knowledge of current affairs, combined with his impeccable research skills, allows him to provide accurate and comprehensive reporting on a wide range of topics. From politics to entertainment, sports to technology, Axel's articles are engaging and informative, keeping readers informed and up to date.

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