HEARTLESS thieves scammed an elderly man out of £20,000 for 'roof repairs' while his wife was hospitalised with coronavirus

The two cold callers were offering to clean gutters for £15 but ended up talking the man into paying thousands of pounds to fix his roof tiles urgently. 

A family member called the police when the scammers shamelessly asked for another £20,000. 

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Thames Valley Police have now warned of the conmen in an online alert after two other similar incidents happened in Buckinghamshire when lockdown rules were relaxed.

In another incident, doorstep callers conned a resident out of £50,000 for 'fixing' a loose chimney and other roof work that didn't need doing. 

The resident's bank raised an alert over the amount that was being withdrawn. 

In the third scam, two cold callers said they were exempt from lockdown restrictions. 

However, the resident didn't like their attitude and sent them packing. 

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As communities emerge from lockdown and the weather improves, Trading Standards anticipates an increase in rogue trader fraud on the doorstep, especially targeting vulnerable residents who may be maintaining social distancing.

For work that needs doing, Trading Standards recommends residents use a legitimate business such as those listed at the Trading Standards-approved trader scheme traders4u.co.uk 

Anybody in immediate danger should call 999 if you need to report a crime that is not ongoing call police on 101. 

Top tips to avoid getting tricked out of your money: 

  • Be sceptical, don’t be afraid to shut the door.
  • Take your time, don’t be rushed.
  • Know who you’re dealing with, if you need help talk to someone you know or get in touch with the council.
  • Protect your financial information, especially from people you don’t know.
  • Never engage with someone or allow them access to your home unless you are able to verify their authenticity and who they are.