'Ruthless rogue traders' con elderly people out of thousands - by offering repairs to homes they damaged
PUBLISHED: 13:15 14 February 2020 | UPDATED: 14:52 14 February 2020
Rogue traders branded "ruthless" by police have conned elderly homeowners out of thousands of pounds after offering repairs - in some cases to homes they had just damaged.
Police have, since January 28, received four reports of elderly people being targeted by a group of up to three men claiming to be from legitimate building companies.
In one instance impersonators stole more than £9,000 from an elderly person who believed they were paying for roof repairs which never materialised.
Following the "callous incidents", police are warning people not to open their doors to cold callers and report any suspicious activity.
On Tuesday, January 28, an elderly home owner in the Vera Road area of Norwich was approached by a man going by the name of 'Tony', who claimed he was from a home improvement company.
He told the victim he needed to repair the roof of his home and to do so would require an up front payment of more than £9,000.
The victim made the payment, but 'Tony' never returned and the work was never carried out.
On February 6, a man also called 'Tony', along with two other men, attended an elderly couple's home in the Earlham Road area of Norwich.
They told the couple they were there to fix the roof, but two of the men were then seen to damage the chimney before asking for £2,000.
A similar incident occurred on February 10 in the Banham Drive area of Swanton Morley.
The most recent incident occurred on Wednesday, February 12, when a resident in the Pemberley Close area of Norwich was targeted.
Superintendent Chris Harvey said the reports were examples of "callous incidents" where elderly people were being "deliberately targeted by ruthless rogue traders".
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He said: "We are warning residents to be aware of opportunistic criminals offering roof repairs, particularly after the stormy weather we have been experiencing.
"Remember that you do not have to open your door to cold callers.
"If you do not recognise the person, speak through the closed and locked door. If they are selling something or offering to do any work on your house or garden, tell them you are not interested and ask them to leave. If you have any doubt - keep them out."
Anyone feeling threatened by a cold caller should call 999. Anyone with information about suspected rogue traders should contact police on 101 or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.
Trading Standards Advice
If your home has been damaged by Storm Ciara, getting repairs completed will be a priority. Here is Trading Standard's advice to make sure repairs run smoothly.
-Never use cold callers who arrive at your property offering to undertake work
-Choose reputable traders like a Norfolk Trusted Trader
-Get three (at least) quotes for the work
-Never pay the full price upfront
-Talk to your insurance company first