Police are warning elderly residents to be on the alert for rogue traders after cowboy builders scammed a couple in their seventies out of thousands of pounds.

The callous thieves are being hunted by police after they conned the couple out of £12,000.

They initially cold called at the house claiming that a brick was loose on their roof. This then led to the whole roof being replaced but with water leaking in to the couples home they abandoned the job taking with them the scaffolding, which it later emerged didn’t belong to them.

The couple, who don’t have any family, are now being pursued for a further £2,000 by the scaffolding firm but worst still they have been put on call hit list and are now being targeted by other scammers.

The police advice is don’t open the door to cold callers and if you do and you’re being pressured or feel unsafe, contact friends, family or the police. 

Croydon Trading Standards advice is:

-If you don’t know the person calling and you are not expecting them don’t let them in.

-Always ask for ID and always check the companies credentials.  Don’t worry about leaving someone waiting. A genuine person won’t mind. Alternatively ask them to come back when you have a family member or friend to be with you.

Make sure you check the company’s credentials, as often you will find they aren’t legitimate.

A Trading Standards spokesperson said: “In the age of technology, we often use the internet to easily look up legitimate tradespeople. However, often vulnerable and elderly people do to have access to the internet to do this. Please consider assisting them with this kind of research to ensure they are able to access legitimate services to prevent them becoming victims of crime.”

Contact trading.standards@croydon.gov.uk or telephone 0208 407 1311.