Police are warning people in the borough to be on their guard after a pensioner in Arnold was duped into paying out over £19,000 to suspected rogue traders.
Officers received a report on December 9, 2017 that the elderly man in Oxengate paid around £19,400 to a roofing company and there were concerns that this was fraudulent.
It’s believed that a man only known as ‘James’ knocked on the victim’s door around six weeks prior stating that his roof needed repairing.
The victim agreed to have the work completed and over the time period, ‘James’ and two other men would attend the address for short time periods to conduct the repairs, all along informing the victim that more and more work was required so he continued to pay them more money.
However, investigators have established that no repair work was conducted.
James, which is believed to be a fake name, is white, around 5ft 11ins tall, aged 30 to 35 and of a stocky build.
The other men were white, aged between 18-20, of a slim build, also around 5ft11ins tall and with short hair.
The offenders drove a white van with ladders attached to its roof.
Detective Sergeant Simon Harrison said: “This is a particularly cruel and selfish crime deliberately targeting elderly and vulnerable people. We really want residents to be aware of this activity and make sure their loved ones and neighbours are aware too. If anyone thinks they might have been targeted in this way please get in touch with us.”
If you have any information that could help police, call 101 quoting incident 223 of 8 December 2017. You can also contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.
Police have offered the following advice to help avoid being a victim of rogue traders:
– Be wary of people who approach you directly stating building repair work is needed.
– If you need work doing, use a Trusted Trader website or renowned company
– take time to choose the company and chat it through with a loved one
– Don’t open the door to unknown or unexpected visitors
– Use a door chain where possible
– if you’re approached by someone or have concerns that rogue traders might be operating in your area, please contact us as soon as possible. In an emergency, call 999.