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An Eccles resident was the victim of an outrageous scam by rogue tree surgeons. Now a warning has been issued in case the gang strike again.

The victim was cold called by one of four males working together. They told him they were doing work for a neighbour and offered to prune some trees which they did.

In a bulletin issued by the Eccles Neighbourhood Watch it says the gang at first mentioned a price of a few hundred pounds which the victim agreed to. But they then kept increasing the fee to an extortionate level.

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The victim paid them £1,800 for the pruning and clearing away waste. The conmen then told the victim his trees had honey fungus. They told him it was a dangerous infection and offered to inject the trees to stop it. The victim paid another £2,000 for that work.

Signs of honey fungus on a tree. There are no chemicals available to control it.

But the Royal Horticultural Society website says: "There is no chemicals available for control of honey fungus. If honey fungus is confirmed the only effective remedy is to excavate and destroy by burning or landfill, all of the infected root and stump material." Honey fungus attacks the tree below ground first then can spread above.

The boss of the gang then returned after the honey fungus "work" was done and told the victim he owed another £1,500.

The suspects are three white males in their 30s and 40s, and a young lad. The boss of the gang had a black beard. All had Irish accents.

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