Bogus workmen con 82-year-old out of £1000

Police say you should never let cold callers into your home. File picture: Jon Savage
Police say you should never let cold callers into your home. File picture: Jon Savage
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HEARTLESS con men tricked an elderly man out of more than £1000 after persuading him that he needed urgent repairs to his roof.

The brazen crooks even accompanied their 82-year-old victim to the bank, where he withdrew cash and handed it to the men, who then fled.

Police are now hunting the bogus workmen, who are believed to be the same pair who were rebuffed in several attempts to con other residents just hours earlier.

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They targeted addresses across the north and west of the Capital in Silverknowes Avenue, Tyler’s Acre Gardens, Broomhall Crescent and Weavers Knowe Crescent on Thursday, before visiting the 82-year-old in Strathalmond Road, Cammo, the following day.

After convincing him that work was needed, he was taken to a branch by the cruel duo, where he was given his cash over the counter.

Detectives are keen to trace both con men before they strike again.

The first man was white, in his late 20s to early 30s, between 5ft 6in and 5ft 8in, of slim to average build with short dark brown or black hair and was wearing dark clothing.

The second man was white, in his 40s, between 5ft 9in and 6ft, of slim build with grey stubble or beard, sandy coloured hair with a scruffy appearance and was wearing baggy khaki-type trousers.

Detective Inspector Grant Johnston of Gayfield CID said: “These two men are preying on vulnerable members of our community and together we need to be vigilant and stop them from targeting our friends, family and neighbours.

“I would appeal to people to please check on older friends and relatives and report any suspicious persons or vehicles.

“Such bogus workers have no scruples and even took their victim to the bank to withdraw cash which they immediately pocketed.

“Never allow cold callers into your home. If you want to check their credentials, genuine callers will be happy to wait outside a locked door whilst you call a number for their company from the phone book, or ask for them to return when there’s someone else with you.

“Ultimately, you should not feel pressured to speak to them about unwanted services and products and it’s your right send them away.

“If you have any concerns, please call police immediately. If you want work doing at your house, take recommendations and use a reputable trader.”

City care champion Norman Work said he believed the victim’s bank – which hasn’t been named – should have done more to protect its customer.

Councillor Work said: “Did they ask him if he was happy taking that sort of money out and if he was safe, particularly with the risk of mugging?”

The council urges residents to check its Trusted Trader scheme before hiring workmen.

An Age Scotland spokesman said: “No respected trader will require you to pay up front and if you feel uncomfortable in any way then just say ‘no’.

“If you think there is an issue with your house then always get more than one quote.”

john.connell@edinburghnews.com