Pensioners fall victim to conmen

By James MortlockAN elderly couple fell victim to bogus callers who conned their way into their home and stole cash by tricking the pair to go and flush their toilet.

By James Mortlock

AN elderly couple fell victim to bogus callers who conned their way into their home and stole cash by tricking the pair to go and flush their toilet.

The incident, which happened in Newmarket on Tuesday, came only days after an 88-year-old woman had savings stolen by tricksters who conned their way into her home in nearby Denham.

The elderly couple targeted on Tuesday, who are also both aged in their 80s, answered a knock on their door at about noon to find a man claiming to be fitting a washing machine for a neighbour.

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A Suffolk police spokesman said the man told the couple, who live in the Studlands Park area, that he needed to turn off their water.

“He then asked them to go into the bathroom and flush the toilet. When they left the bathroom, they spotted the man walking away with two other men,” he added.

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The elderly couple later found money had been taken, along with two pension books.

The caller who knocked at the door was described as aged in his mid-20s, about 5ft 6in tall, of very thin build, with pale skin, short, dark-brown hair and an Irish accent. His accomplices were described as white and of a similar age.

Det Con Mark Scott, who is leading the hunt for the conmen, said: “This is a despicable offence targeting the elderly and vulnerable members of our community. This will not be tolerated by Suffolk police.

“Unfortunately, these offenders can be extremely convincing. They often make up scenarios that require emergency attention, such as a burst water pipe or a gas leak to try to scare their way into homes.

“In many ways the more urgently someone is trying to get into your home, the more likely it is that they are not genuine callers.”

He added: “We would always recommend that before you open the door to a caller that you stop and consider if you are expecting anyone, lock any other doors to your property and then chain or bar your door before opening it.

“Then check the caller has photographic identification. Make sure that you are happy that this identification is legitimate. If they have not got a card, or you are not happy with the identification provided, keep then out and dial 999.”

Det Con Scott said officers were working on possible links between the latest incident and the tricksters who struck in Denham on Friday using similar techniques.

Anyone with information should contact Suffolk police on 01284 774100 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.

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