Advice for residents after bogus builder incident

25 Aug 2016 14:16 PM

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Police are advising residents to be on their guard after a bogus builder conned an elderly Newcastle resident out of a large sum of cash.

The incident happened on Thursday, July 21, at an address in Gosforth when a man asked for money for work he did not do.

A man claiming to be from a roofing firm turned up on the doorstep of a 73-year-old resident and offered to clear his gutters for £15. The resident agreed and the man then claimed he could see some structural damage to the property and asked for more cash on two occasions over the next week. During this period the workman removed concrete and plaster from the house causing substantial damage to the property. In total the resident handed over £7,000 in cash and the man claiming to be a roofer has not been seen since.

Officers investigating the incident have been making house to house enquiries and have given crime prevention advice to nearby residents.

Now police are advising residents to be aware of this scam in a bid to prevent others from losing cash.

Neighbourhood A/Insp Rob Bosson said:"Callers who turn-up unannounced, whether they're claiming to be carrying out work or selling something, should always be treated with caution.

"It's a timely reminder for people to be vigilant. Never agree to work being done by people who cold call at your home and always check identities of workmen and the company's credentials before agreeing to work being carried out.

"Genuine callers will not mind being asked to come back at a different time so their identification can be checked or while arrangements are made for a relative or friend to be present when they return.

"We would also like to ask members of the community to look out for elderly or vulnerable neighbours who could be victims of this type of crime and report any suspicious people or vehicles they see in their community to police. If in doubt contact officers."

To report any information about the incident contact Northumbria Police on 101 quoting reference 829 29/07/16 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

More crime prevention advice can be found at the Northumbria Police website