A member of staff from Jewson’s Aberystwyth branch has received a Tool Hire Hero Award for saving his own branch and several local businesses from fraud.

The Jewson employee received a phone call from someone claiming to be from the Highways department in Ceredigion Council, wishing to hire an extensive list of tools for a project. However, the employee became suspicious when he asked the customer to email him the order – which the branch is yet to receive.

Unconvinced, the employee contacted the hire controller at the Highways department, who confirmed they had made no such order. Coming to the conclusion that this was a fraudulent call, the employee contacted local businesses to warn them about what had happened at Jewson. The warning calls were made at the right time, as in several cases the same customer had already approached businesses around the area.

The employee commented: “This is the first time we have come across anything like this and although I managed to prevent the crime from taking place elsewhere, this might not have been the case. I would really recommend that local businesses become more aware and cautious when supplying goods to unchecked customers.

“I’m very pleased that all the targeted businesses in the local area were able to come together as a community to prevent this crime and ultimately protect our customers.”

A Jewson spokesperson added: “We have also protected our customers from fraudulent charges being applied to their account from several different suppliers. It is deplorable that criminals should target an area that has been through the traumas left following the storms, and I would urge other companies to be extra cautious when potentially large orders appear – they may not be what they seem.

“We couldn’t be more delighted with our employee – he has ensured that he remains vigilant in his day-to-day job, which has ultimately saved ourselves and local businesses over £30k in fleet losses. We have also presented him with a Tool Hire Hero Award for his efforts and on behalf of the Jewson Tool Hire team I would like to say well done and a massive thank you!”