Bank raises alarm after Royston rogue traders target elderly victim

Rogue traders convinced an elderly man to withdraw large sums of money, raising suspicions at the ba

Rogue traders convinced an elderly man to withdraw large sums of money, raising suspicions at the bank. - Credit: Archant

Rogue traders targeted an elderly victim in Royston, tricking him into paying thousands for work on his roof after cold calling at his address.

Officers were alerted to the incident on Saturday, when members of staff at HSBC in Melbourn Street raised concerns about an elderly man attempting to withdraw a large sum of money at about 12 noon.

It was reported that the man was having work carried out on his roof.

The victim had already parted with a significant amount of money during the works which had been on-going over three days after the builders had cold called at his address in the Beldam Avenue area of town.

Police then went to the victim’s home, but the men had already left the scene.

They are described as wearing work clothes and having Irish accents and are believed to have left the scene in a silver Vauxhall Vivaro van.

PCSO Penelope Tomsett said: “Rogue builders or gardeners often trick people into paying very high prices for unnecessary or shoddy work.

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“Never agree to have work done by somebody who is just passing or take their word that it needs to be done at all, and never pay for anything before any work is done.

“Do not accept an offer from them to drive you to the bank to withdraw money.

“If you think that work needs to be done then get quotes for other local companies or ask friends and relatives for a recommendation.

“If anyone comes to your door or a friend’s door stating you need work, then take note of the vehicle they are in, the registration and colour, how many people are there, what they are wearing etc and call us.”

Officers are continuing to work with the victim and the investigation is ongoing.

Anyone with information that could help with the investigation is asked to contact Herts police on 101.