Pensioner scammed for �12,000 by conman

A PENSIONER from Royston has been scammed out of �12,000 by a rogue trader, who has since pleaded guilty to fraud by false representation.

The unnamed 77-year-old had drainage work carried out on his property that should of cost just �300, but was charged �12,000 for extensive labour that didn’t take place.

A 31-year-old man from Peterborough admitted his charged at Cambridge Crown Court on January 11, and will be sentence on a date due to be fixed in February.

The conman visited the pensioner on several occasions between March 31 and April 22 last year and told him his drains needed urgent attention when in fact, just two drain covers were replaced.

He was finally caught when staff at the victim’s local branch of HSBC notified police when he tried to withdraw a large sum of money to make yet another payment to him.

Det cons Laura Talbot from the local crime unit said: “This was an absolutely despicable offence where an elderly man was targeted again and again for money that was far beyond what he should have been paying out.

“The type of mentality of someone who can do this to a vulnerable person beggars belief.

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“This is a very rare offence but we would always advise people that if someone calls at your door offering to do some work for you, do not agree to the work there and then or part with any cash.

“Don’t take their word that the work needs to be done. Ask for a written quote on headed paper and if you think it does need to be done then get quotes from other local companies or ask friends and relatives for a recommendation.”

If you are in doubt, take information and contact Hertfordshire Trading Standards via Consumer Direct on 08454 04 05 06 to check their legitimacy.

Det cons Talbot added: “We would like to thank the staff at the Royston HSBC who alerted us when the victim tried to take out more money. It was really instrumental in helping us make this arrest and bringing this person to justice.”