Police are warning elderly residents in Horsham to be on their guard against fraudulent workmen after a woman handed over more than £7,000 for work on her roof that was not required or carried out.
The elderly victim, who lives on her own in Horsham, was called upon at her home address in February by a man who is described as about 50 years of age and of average build.
He claimed that her roof was leaking and showed her some water on the driveway. She agreed for him to carry out the repairs and immediately went to the bank to draw out money. Over the next few weeks the workman continued to visit the address, finding more and more ‘problems’ with the roof and requesting more money.
In total, the victim withdrew £7,100. Police were called on Tuesday, March 5, following concern from the victim’s bank.
PC Matt Watson, from Horsham’s Neighbourhood Response Team, said: “The victim in this case is a vulnerable, elderly woman who appears to have been targeted by this conman.
“He has carried out very little work, if any, on the roof, none of which was required, but has asked for and received large sums of money.
“We’re anxious to hear from anyone else in the area who may also have fallen victim to this man, or from anyone who has information about this particular incident.
“If you can help, please call Sussex Police on 101 quoting serial 0991 of 5 March.
“Alternatively, contact the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.
“I would also like to stress to members of the public that tradesmen offering to carry out legitimate work will not ask for large sums of money before this is undertaken, or without providing written quotations on headed company paper.
“They would also not continue to demand money before any further ‘work’ is completed.
“Legitimate tradesmen will have identification and if you are unable to check their company’s credentials personally, please ask a trusted friend to do so on your behalf, before handing over any deposits.”