Elderly Couple Conned Out of Life Savings
Residents warned about bogus roofer who preys on vulnerable
A couple in their eighties have fallen victim to a gang of cruel conmen who have stolen £6,000 of their savings.
It happened on Friday in the Gunnersbury Park area - the elderly woman looks after her husband who has Alzheimer's.
The daughter of the couple - who wishes to remain anonymous - says the three men were clearly very skilled in constructing the con and is warning everyone to be vigilant.
She told Ealingtoday.co.uk that the men initially told her mother they had accidentally knocked tiles off her roof when working on the next door property and would replace them for free:
She continued: ''Once in the back garden a colleague appeared with a ladder, climbed up to the roof and made a great pantomime of 'noticing' how dangerously unstable their chimney was. He swayed it to and fro in the wind and rain and descended, according to my mother, very ashen faced and 'shaken'.
''She was persuaded that the chimney could fall off and kill anyone at any minute but they could repair it straight away for her; all that was needed was a cash deposit for the local scaffolding firm - my mother was assured she would get this cash back when the work was complete and the scaffolding removed. As it was such an urgent job, a cheque would not do as it would not clear until Tuesday...
''All very clever and cynical. They gained her confidence further by referring to nearby properties they'd allegedly been working on and were 'very kind' with my father who has Alzheimer's.
''She drove to the bank, withdrew the money and returned to find one of the men on the doorstep. She handed over the money under the impression that the scaffolder's van was just down the road, waiting for the deposit before driving into the driveway. And that was that.
''The police have been very kind, tactful and thorough. It seems often people do not report these scams - probably as they feel so foolish and feel there is no evidence to go on - but the police took extremely detailed statements and will put all of the info into their database to see if any details match any other local incidents.
''The more details they receive the more chance they have of solving these crimes. If knowing this will persuades other victims to speak up then at least my parents case won't have been entirely fruitless.''
Local resident Susan Kelly says the octogenarians are her neighbours and is furious:'' These people are the scum of the earth, preying on the weak and vulnerable.''
One of the men is described as being in his 40s , medium height and build, straight dark hair; apparently, he had an Irish accent. The car was a white estate-type car with roof rack holding ladders.
January 18, 2011