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Warning as conmen try to fleece 91-year-old woman out of £3000

PUBLISHED: 15:51 01 March 2017 | UPDATED: 15:51 01 March 2017

Bogus builders are targeting elderly residents around Bromley

Bogus builders are targeting elderly residents around Bromley

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An 89-year-old nearly handed over £4000

Residents are being warned to be on the guard for conmen after bogus builders targeted two elderly people.

Recent work between Met Police, NatWest Bank and Trading Standards has stopped £7,000 getting into the hands of the bogus builder.

Trading Standards was first made aware of the conmen after an 89-year-old tried to withdraw £4000 in cash from her Beckenham bank.

Officers were called to the NatWest branch where they discovered what had happened.

The pensioner had been cold-called by a heavily built man who told her there was a problem with her overflow and the drainage in her rear patio.

But the man at the door was just a distraction, allowing another man to enter the rear of the proerty and pour water over her floor to make it look like there was a water leak.

The bogus builder then demanded £4000 in cash to pay for machinery to fix the ‘problem’.

Bromley police made a second report to Trading standards revealing an almost identical incident.

This time the conmen had targeted a 91-year-old woman.

But when she was asked to pay £3000, the resident went straight to a neighbour who reported the incident on her behalf.

“The simple advice here is not to deal with cold callers and never let them in your house, even if they appear to be plausible,” explained Kate Lymer, executive councillor for public protection and safety.

“Thanks to NatWest Bank, the police and the concerned neighbour, we were able to intervene on both occasions.

“It is clear that these despicable criminals are targeting old residents.

“I would urge everyone to remain vigilant and report any suspicious callers offering any sort of property repairs to our trading standards team.”

Advice on how to avoid becoming a victim to bogus builders and other scams is available on the council’s website www.bromley.gov.uk/tradingstandards.

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