North Northamptonshire pair arrested after pensioner pays £34,000 to rogue traders

Men from Corby and Kettering have been bailed until next month

Friday, 7th May 2021, 9:59 am
Updated Friday, 7th May 2021, 10:00 am

Two men from north Northamptonshire have been arrested following an investigation into rogue traders conning a pensioner out of £34,000.

Neighbours in Rugby raised concerns that a man in his 80s was been asked to pay thousands for roof work that did not need doing.

Detectives believe the suspects — one from Kettering and one from Corby — approached the victim at his house and told him his roof needed repairs and asked for more than £14,000 upfront — which the victim paid.

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Police have issued warnings on rogue traders targeting elderly and vulnerable. Picture posed by models

The pair returned to the property multiple times demanding more money and the victim handed over another £20,000.

Finally, officers attended the property following reports from neighbours and arrested a 43-year-old from Kettering and a 42-year-old from Corby on suspicion of fraud by false representation.

They have both been bailed until next month while enquiries continue.

Detective Constable Matthew Kandt from Rugby CID said: “Rogue traders normally target elderly and vulnerable people. Fortunately, in this case, good-hearted neighbours were looking out for the victim and alerted police to their concerns.

“it is a despicable crime and we urge people to lookout for signs that vulnerable people are being scammed.”

Warwickshire Police are asking anyone with information that could help with their ongoing enquiries into this incident to call 101 quoting reference 225 of 3 May 2021. Alternatively, information can be given anonymously to independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

If you are concerned someone is being targeted by rogue traders contact police. If a crime is progress call 999 immediately. To report a crime that has taken place call 101.

Northamptonshire Police, Trading standards and Citizens Advice consumer service all issue regular warnings and advice about being wary of rogue traders.

Chief Inspector Pete Basham said: “I’d like to send out a strong message to Northamptonshire’s residents to be on guard for this sort of activity. It is often the elderly and vulnerable that are targeted by these fraudsters, who will frequently try to take the victim to a bank or cash machine while they are completely unaware that they are falling victim to a scam.

“If you or someone you know finds themselves in such a situation and have any doubts, call police to attend.

“Please be vigilant in your neighbourhood for potential rogue traders operating, and encourage elderly or vulnerable relatives to call you should any tradesman insist work needs to be carried out, or are demanding money.”

Important advice includes:

■ Talk to elderly relatives and friends about tactics used by distraction burglars or rogue traders.

■ Display a no cold calling sticker on the front window or door of your house – available from [email protected]

■ Keep front and back doors locked even when at home

■ Before answering the door, use the door viewer or nearby window to see who is there

■ Fit a door chain or bar – use it when dealing with callers at the door

■ Don’t feel embarrassed - genuine callers expect you to be careful

■ Only let callers in if they have an appointment and you have confirmed they are genuine

■ Always ask for ID badges of anyone you answer the door to, but don’t rely on them. Identity cards can be faked – phone the company direct to verify their identity and do not phone numbers provided on ID cards

■ Some companies offer a password system. Ask your utility providers if this can be put in place and if you have a password with a company make sure the caller uses it

■ Never agree to pay for goods or give money to strangers who arrive at your door

■ Don’t keep large amounts of money in your home

■ Most importantly - If you’re not sure, don’t answer the door. If in doubt, keep them out.