Outrage at £2,600 con on elderly man

By Dave GooderhamCOMMUNITY leaders and watchdog groups have condemned a conman who duped a frail pensioner into giving away £2,600.Police have warned elderly residents to remain vigilant after an 81-year-old man gave money to a man who visited his home, claiming to be from a security company.

By Dave Gooderham

COMMUNITY leaders and watchdog groups have condemned a conman who duped a frail pensioner into giving away £2,600.

Police have warned elderly residents to remain vigilant after an 81-year-old man gave money to a man who visited his home, claiming to be from a security company.

The resident, from Barrow, near Bury St Edmunds, initially disputed the fact that he owed money to the company - but eventually signed a cheque for £2,600.


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The pensioner allowed the man into his home after earlier receiving a call from someone claiming to be from a security company. The conman told him there was a shortfall on his account and that he owed £2,600.

The elderly man disputed this and said his account was fully paid, but he was eventually talked into signing a cheque for the bogus caller.

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The incident, which took place at about 10.45am on August 25, but which has only just been publicised, has sent shockwaves through the close-knit community.

Barrow borough councillor Ian Houlder said: “This is an appalling crime and targeting the elderly is just cruel. There are perfectly genuine tradespeople about, but this kind of thing gives everyone a bad name.”

An Age Concern spokesman added: “Everyone has the right to feel safe at home and it is shameful that devious people are able to take advantage of vulnerable groups in this way.

“We would urge any older person who feels unsure about paying for something, whether via a phone call or doorstep visit, to say no.”

Pc Richard Baker, of Horringer police, said: “This is a despicable offence targeting an elderly member of our community.

“This will not be tolerated and we would urge anyone who has information relating to it to contact us as a matter of priority.

“I would also like to ask people to warn elderly members of the community, be they friends, relatives or a neighbour, to be extremely vigilant if they get a similar call.”

The bogus caller was described as white, about 6ft tall, aged between 45 and 50, of stocky build with dark, cropped hair and clean-shaven.

Anyone with information should contact Horringer police on 01284 774100.

dave.gooderham@eadt.co.uk

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