Rogue trader targets 98-year-old woman

PUBLISHED: 16:00 10 August 2012




A SHAMEFUL rogue builder tried to fleece thousands of pounds from a 98-year-old Potters Bar woman.

The pensioner was approached by the man at her Byng Drive home on Tuesday, July 24 and he claimed she needed work done to her property costing more than £3,000.

Believing him, the victim made plans to go to her bank and withdraw the full amount – even being told that if the bank asked what the money was for, she should say it was for family reasons and not building work.

The alarm was only raised because she told someone on the way to the bank what had happened.

Police were called and an officer sat with the terrified woman at her home, waiting for the bogus builder to return – but he never did.

A police spokesman said: “We are investigating a report of a rogue trader, who it is believed targeted an elderly woman at a residential address in Potters Bar on Tuesday, July 24.

“Offenders knocked at the door of the victim saying they were cleaning drains in the area and managed to get the woman’s telephone number.

“A man then later called her and said she needed work done urgently on her property.

“He asked for £3,300 as a deposit for a generator to be placed on her driveway, in order to complete the work.

“However, it appears that a member of the public has intervened as she was making her way to the bank to withdraw the money.

“He has then contacted the police and an officer has then attended her address. No cash exchanged hands.”

No arrests have yet been made in the case.

One Potters Bar councillor wanted to warn elderly and vulnerable people to be thoroughly sure who they are answering their doors to.

Cllr Peter Knell told the Potters Bar Edition: “I have been told of an elderly lady being asked to hand over vast sums of money in cash and as a local councillor I find this story disgraceful.

“This could be her entire life savings and all she had left to live on.

“If anyone comes to your door and you are alone keep the chain on if you have one, ask for identity and a company name and never tell them you have cash in the house.

“If you are worried it is a rogue trader or a scam call 101 for advice from the police.”

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