Scammers stole thousands from vulnerable people.

Two men who scammed more than £35,000 from a vulnerable elderly man have been sentenced. The two men first approached their elderly victim at his home in September 2017. They claimed that, while working on his neighbours property, they noticed a leak in his gutter, which they could repair for £5.

Sensing the man was vulnerable, they went on to tell him a series of lies, claiming he could be sued by his neighbour if he did not allow them to urgently repair his roof. The man agreed to have this work carried out, however the two men then falsely told him he would be sued by his neighbour for damage caused for up to £100,000. They told him he could avoid legal action if he paid them £50,000, on top of the money he had already handed over.

The elderly man was so worried he sought legal advice and eventually the police were called. The two men plead guilty to conspiring to commit fraud by false representation and sentenced to four years in prison.

Detective Constable Mark Newman, Kent Police’s investigating officer for the case, said: “These deceitful offenders specifically targeted the victim in this case because they identified him as being vulnerable. The work they received payment for was not carried out and was entirely unnecessary. I am pleased that we have been able to secure justice for the victim.”

In a separate but similar case, a widow was scammed out of more than £28,000 by a cowboy builder, after being quoted £64 to fix loose roof tiles.

Just a few months after losing her husband the 71 year old woman, approached a roofer she found on Rated People website. The roofer, who initially quoted just £64 to fix the loose tiles, told her the roof was in danger of collapse and needed urgent repair. He then made repeated demands for payment, but luckily her bank alerted the police after noticing large sums of money leaving her account.

The rogue trader was sentenced to 40 months in prison after admitting to fraud, aggressive commercial practice and acquiring property by deception. In court the judge described his as ‘truly wicked’ in his actions targeting this vulnerable elderly woman.

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