Pair charged in attempt to defraud pensioner
Police have urged the public to be vigilant to cold-callers after a gang attempted to con a “substantial” amount of money from a Warrenpoint pensioner for incomplete and shoddy work.
Three men, aged 42, 23 and 22, were arrested on suspicion of fraudulent behaviour following the incident. Following questioning, two of the men were charged with a number of offences while the 42-year-old was released on bail pending further enquiries.
The pair, aged 22 and 23, appeared before Newry Magistrates’ Court on Thursday to face charges including fraud by false representation, failing to give notice of the right to cancel a contract and acting as a pedlar without a contract.
Outlining the incident, Detective Sergeant Mark Crothers explained: “On the morning of Saturday 29th July three males called at a house offering to power wash the roof of an elderly resident for a substantial fee. The men are believed to have been using a large white van with red writing on it. After completing half a day’s work, the males returned on Monday, 31 July to finish this job and requested extra money whilst there.
“Luckily on both occasions no monies were exchanged,” he said and asked that anyone with information contact police.
Pointing out that the elderly or vulnerable are mainly the victims of incidents of this nature, Det Sgt Crothers advised anyone who has been targeted to contact police.
“Most callers at your door will be genuine but someone could be trying to gain access to look around your property or charge you far too much for shoddy or non-existent work,” he said.
He advised householder to use the Quick Check service (0800 013 12 90) to check if callers to your door, such as meter readers, are genuine.
No Cold Calling Zone stickers are available on request from your local Crime Prevention Officer by calling 101 or from the Policing and Community Safety Partnership by calling 0300 0300 900.
Anyone with concerns in relation to rogue traders, current scams and how to avoid becoming a victim of a scam, can visit Scamwise NI at www.nidirect.gov.uk/campaigns/scamwiseni.