POLICE INVESTIGATE DRIVEWAY FRAUDSTERS AFTER ELDERLY MAN NEARLY CONNED OF CASH
Hampshire Constabulary has opened an investigation into so-called dodgy driveway fraudsters after a report was received of a group of men offering to carry out repair work to a driveway and then demanding cash. Police were alerted to the incident in the Chale Green area yesterday (Wednesday) after a man, in his 70s, was asked to hand over GBP3,000 to the men despite them agreeing to repair his driveway for the cost of a drink. The suspected fraudsters completed the repair work, but then demanded GBP3,000 for their efforts.
A member of the public who was in the area approached the men to speak with them before they got in their car and left.
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Officers say that a tipper truck was also seen in the rural area near the time of the incident. Island Echo has been contacted by a number of Isle of Wight residents who have reported similar incidents in the past few days – most of which have targeted elderly and vulnerable people. Additionally, it is said that the suspected con-artists have been claiming that they work for the Isle of Wight Council, and have been seen driving a car with ‘Highway Maintenance’ stickers on the side.
Another Island resident, aged 83, was allegedly approached by men who offered to repair her driveway for the sum of GBP30, before demanding GBP2,400. Luckily for the woman, friends visiting at the time stood up for her, with the alleged conmen eventually leaving the scene.
Hampshire Constabulary has issued the following guidance as it investigates further:
- Discuss any work you feel needs carrying out on your property with a relative or friend who can help you find a reputable trader
- Don’t agree to any work or sign anything on the spot.
Do not be pressured into having any work carried out
- Never pay cash up front and never go to the bank or cash point with a trader
- If you suspect a rogue trader is at your door, or if you feel intimidated or they are refusing to leave, call 999
- Keep an eye on elderly or vulnerable neighbours, friends and family.
Islanders who have experienced incidents involving these men, or similar scams, are urged to contact Police on 101 and quote 44210278052 to assist their inquiries further.
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