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Thread: Another OAP Scammed

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    Another OAP Scammed

    My Dad looks after my dog on Wednesdays while my wife and I are at work. We went to pick my dog up after work, only to find his house in a bit of a state, and my Dad very unsteady, stressed, upset, clutching his chest and almost collapsing.

    Three guys had knocked on his door that morning offering to clean his gutters for £6. They knocked on his door again a short time later, and convinced him that his soffit boards were rotten and needed replacing. He hadn't touched them for years so thought they probably were. They then proceeded to ripped his guttering down, ripped the soffits down, ripped his drainpipe down, then smashed them all up so they couldn't be reused and dumped them in a pile in his front garden.

    Next they convinced him that their "head office" said they could not do the repair work without scaffolding, so either they would have to leave it, or try to get scaffolding in place that afternoon. They put him in their van and drove him into town where he was told to withdraw £2500 to pay the "scaffolding deposit", while they waited in their van. As you are expecting to read, they dropped him home and then drove off to "get the scaffolding", but never returned.

    My Dad worked in the building trade when he was younger for a while, then worked for almost 40 years driving heavy plant machinery and other manual jobs for Essex Water, retiring when he was nearly 70. He was always a big, strong guy, but now his ill health means he's getting frail and struggles most days. He is in his late 70s, with a bad heart condition, high blood pressure, arthritis from his hard working life, and diabetes. He's quite smart though, and 10 years ago he'd have never fallen for this, but they caught him on a bad day.

    It took a while for me to report it to the police, but I finally managed to speak to someone by about 23:00. My dad has since spoken to them a few times, so we have all manner of incident and crime reference numbers. I was worried that the ***** might come back today and do further damage to his house, or demand more money from him, preying on his hope to salvage something from the situation. They had told him about a few cracked roof tiles, so I half expected they would leave his roof in pieces in the front garden if they came back. The combined effort of myself and talks with the police have convinced him that he has been scammed, and he should not deal with them again.

    I doubt there will be anything the police can do, but the more reports they get, the more chance they have of stopping them doing it to someone else.

    Thanks to Pete (Snap on pete), one of his contacts is going to visit my Dad to price up the repairs at a friendly rate. This will be the worlds most expensive gutter and soffit replacement.
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    MOCGB Paid Member mgcobra's Avatar
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    Hey Chris, so sorry to hear this. Just shows the SCUM still in our society. What a shame the teller at the bank did not question such an unusual transaction for a large cash withdrawal.
    Only way may be to take over all his bank dealings so he cant be tricked into something like this again. Mind you makes you think what else they might do.
    Wish your dad well. Hope he knows who to expect from Snap ons contact as he will be wary of anyone for a while..

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    Thanks John. I've given him the details and the time Pete's friend is arriving, so he's prepared at least.

    He's old-school, so everything is cheque or cash with him, a scammers dream. I did wonder why the bank didn't ask about it, but then the bank cannot really police people that much.
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    MOCGB Paid Member GoldenGooner's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chris1973 View Post
    Thanks John. I've given him the details and the time Pete's friend is arriving, so he's prepared at least.

    He's old-school, so everything is cheque or cash with him, a scammers dream. I did wonder why the bank didn't ask about it, but then the bank cannot really police people that much.
    So sorry to hear this, makes me very angry, evil like that, how would they act if it was their parents?
    If they have not come back, its not so much as being scammed as theft, as they have taken the money, and not done any work
    Are there not CCTV cameras in the street where the bank was? or maybe you could drive the route they took in the van and see if there are cameras, there must be traffic light cameras at least?
    Then from that, the van can be traced back to the owners.

    Evil like that, really don't deserve to draw breath
    Last edited by GoldenGooner; 06-04-2017 at 03:09 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by GoldenGooner View Post
    So sorry to hear this, makes me very angry, evil like that, how would they act if it was their parents?
    Some have suggested that they might not have soffits and guttering of their own, just wheels and an a-frame....

    Quote Originally Posted by GoldenGooner View Post
    If they have not come back, its not so much as being scammed as theft, as they have taken the money, and not done any work
    In my opinion, it's criminal damage too, as they've left him with a repair bill that he can hardly afford to pay, especially now he's £2.5k lighter. We'll find out tomorrow how much that will be.

    Quote Originally Posted by GoldenGooner View Post
    Are there not CCTV cameras in the street where the bank was?
    The van will be on CCTV in Colchester High St. I'm not sure how much effort the police put into this sort of thing and whether they would spend the time searching for it. With all the cuts and prioritisation, this type of minor fraud must be low down on the list.

    Quote Originally Posted by GoldenGooner View Post
    Then from that, the van can be traced back to the owners.
    If the plates were genuine

    Quote Originally Posted by GoldenGooner View Post
    Evil like that, really don't deserve to draw breath
    I agree with that 100%. The state he was in, it could have killed him.
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    All to common is this. So sorry to hear this. Wish him well & explain is NOT his fault as he must feel dreadful.
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    MOCGB Paid Member G19's Avatar
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    Chris

    I had the same problem with my next door neighbour being scammed over last summer from people who befriended him and undertook work on his house.

    As well as the police I would inform your local Trading Standards office, they will be interested and can offer free advice to you and your Dad. I managed to get a dummy CCTV camera and loads of notices installed for my neighbour about doorstep selling.

    With regard the Bank it is worth contacting them and maybe even write to the Head Office of the bank concern highlighting what has happened and ask why the cashier did not ask questions of an elderly customer taking out a large sum of cash. Despite what people think the Bank does have a duty of care towards customers, I don't think you will get any money back but the Bank's need to ensure staff dealing with customers have received the correct training in dealing with these types of transactions. Might also be worth getting your Dad to give you a third party mandate on his account (simply form to be filled out at the Bank) thereby allowing you to operate the account on his behalf and instruct the bank no large cash withdrawals are allowed.

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    MOCGB Paid Member G19's Avatar
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    Cold Call Sign

    http://images2.moneysavingexpert.com...dcallersv2.pdf

    I would also print off the above sign and stick on front door or window.
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    Really sorry to hear this and I hope that the police will investigate. Unfortunately this sort of thing does go on as seen many times on Watchdog! Might be worth emailing the Watchdog production team as they could do a piece for the next series and get their undercover reporter to set up a sting maybe?
    Also inform the local papers as this alerts others which may result in them getting caught.

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    MOCGB Paid Member sonicbloo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chris1973 View Post

    With all the cuts and prioritisation, this type of minor fraud must be low down on the list.
    Sorry for what happened to your Dad, they're probably from out of town, scummy pikeys travel all over the country doing stuff like this. Surely the Police won't view this as minor fraud, its major theft (with menaces) in my eyes
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    MOCGB Paid Member mgcobra's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sonicbloo View Post
    Sorry for what happened to your Dad, they're probably from out of town, scummy pikeys travel all over the country doing stuff like this. Surely the Police won't view this as minor fraud, its major theft (with menaces) in my eyes
    Agree with you on this. Add kidnapping or abduction to the list.

    I think the trading standards idea is a must do as well Chris. Any local OAP centres as well.

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    MOCGB Paid Member pmustang's Avatar
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    Chris. Your dad is a wonderful man and I am so sorry this has happened to him

    Wish him my best

    Regards. Peter
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    Quote Originally Posted by uze View Post
    Wish him well & explain is NOT his fault as he must feel dreadful.
    Both my brother and I will keep telling him this. It could have been a lot worse, so small mercies.

    Quote Originally Posted by G19 View Post
    I would inform your local Trading Standards office, they will be interested and can offer free advice to you and your Dad.

    With regard the Bank it is worth contacting them and maybe even write to the Head Office of the bank concern highlighting what has happened and ask why the cashier did not ask questions of an elderly customer taking out a large sum of cash.
    Trading standards is a good idea. I will be calling them tomorrow. The bank too, I should get in touch. I'll also speak to his neighbour who's the head of the local neighbourhood watch (he didn't see anything...).

    Quote Originally Posted by Lawman429 View Post
    Also inform the local papers as this alerts others which may result in them getting caught.
    The local councilor is a bit of a media addict. I'll speak to him tomorrow and he will be on all manner of things

    Quote Originally Posted by sonicbloo View Post
    they're probably from out of town, scummy pikeys travel all over the country doing stuff like this. Surely the Police won't view this as minor fraud, its major theft (with menaces) in my eyes
    That's exactly who I think it was. He does have a national fraud centre report number so perhaps it is getting some attention.

    Quote Originally Posted by mgcobra View Post
    Any local OAP centres as well.
    The local councilor will be all over it I think

    Quote Originally Posted by pmustang View Post
    Your dad is a wonderful man and I am so sorry this has happened to him
    Thanks. I'll have to bring him to your unit soon, he hardly sees you these days! Mind you, he'll probably leave with that 1940s pick-up.
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    Our street attracts a constant stream of cold calling sellers, I have a couple of signs on the front door--but it doesnt stop them knocking!! So when someone knocks, theres only 2 reasons they are smiling at

    me, the first is that they are not a full shilling! and the second is that they are attempting to sell me something, I always ask them which of the 2 they are before pointing out the signs and asking if they can

    read. Its disgraceful. Is cold calling an offence now?

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    MOCGB Paid Member snap on pete's Avatar
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    Was sickened to the pit of my guts when Chris told me this. Got Pikey Scum all over it!...and they wonder why they have got a bad reputation, when you seen the idiots on the tele..!

    Sprung into action.. and have got a chap who owns a cladding biz., popping round to his Dad this morning..
    and hopefully will rally around and try and get it done with little, or even better still, with no cost to dad..

    Have also got a lady from a very nearby centre, checking her CCTV cameras, to see if the van was picked upon her radar..
    although i guess will be a cloned plate...or an address in Ireland.!

    Will keep you posted.. and give dad our regards Chris..
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