Beware of cheap firewood con

As people stock up on wood for winter, readers have been warned to take care when buying online due to the high number of frauds involving non-delivery, reduced quantities or undried or unsuitable wood.

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A reader who lives near Sarlat in the Dordogne has told how she spent €900 after spotting 50cm logs advertised at €45 per stère (cubic metre) online.

With prices usually €50-€70 she thought it was cheap but not too cheap so ordered 20 stère paying by bank transfer.

When nothing was delivered, emails went unanswered and the phone went to message she contacted the police.

She has since found another site, of near identical design, offering wood at the same price and said readers should beware as she did not want them to lose money as she had.

As 90% of people buy privately, such scams are well known and use low prices to entice victims. Buyers should pay only against an invoice with receipt and never by bank transfer.