Two brothers have been jailed for scamming elderly and vulnerable victims in a rogue trader scam.

The Flynn brothers were jailed in 2013 for a rat catcher scam, in which they sneaked dead rats into homes of vulnerable people’s homes, to trick people into thinking they had a pest problem. They even took regular instalments from one 76-year-old man of £2,500. Another victim was an 80-year-old man who the brothers told had a woodworm problem and conned him out of £25,000. For these crimes, the brothers were jailed for a combined total of 108 months.

Despite serving time behind bars, just months after being released from prison, the brothers were at it again while still on licence. Between them, they developed a new scam to defraud pensioners, this time posing as roofers.

The fraudsters cold-called an elderly couple in July 2016 claiming they had spotted some loose tiles and they offered to repair them for £400. However, over the space of two weeks the rise went up to £24,000 as the crooks conned the elderly victims into believing they had found rotten roof beams and needed extra cash for scaffolding and a hefty VAT bill. But the brothers had actually pulled the tiles themselves and merely painted part of the roof to make it appear they’d carried out work.

The pair also managed to con a man in his 70’s to hand over a total of £33,500 for bogus roof and window repairs. A neighbour who became suspicious of the pair noted down the number plate of the vehicle they were using and raised it with police, who were able to link the van to the previously convicted fraudsters. In a separate incident an off-duty police officer overheard one of the brothers demanding an £11,000 payment from an elderly resident. The officer alerted police and the brothers were later arrested.

The Flynn brothers were jailed for 59 months and 64 months at Birmingham Crown Court. Detective Constable Laura Hurry from the force’s Economic Crime Unit, said: “you hear the phrase ‘honour amongst thieves’ which suggests even criminals have moral boundaries and there are some levels they won’t stoop to. But these members of the Flynn family have no honour, they will trick and deceive anyone they can to make money, even the elderly or infirm. The Flynn’s seemingly will never change their ways. Our advice is never to accept work from an unsolicited ‘tradesman’ who comes calling at your door.”

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