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.