Bogus roofers target elderly and vulnerable in Harrogate
The police know of three cases and fear that there could be many more
North Yorkshire Police have reminded residents to remain vigilant for doorstep scams and anyone who shows up unannounced.
The warning comes after police were notified of three recent cases of suspected false roofers targeting the elderly and vulnerable in Harrogate, and a further seven reported just across the border in Wetherby, Middlesbrough and Stockton.
An investigation has been launched and agents are also investigating whether the possible scams are linked to a further six reported late last year, four of them in York and two across the border in Nunthorpe, Middlesbrough.
In cases like this, a fake dealer will typically call a victim “unannounced” by showing up unannounced and offering to clean their gutters for a small fee.
However, the impostor will claim to the victim that they have found major damage to their roof that requires immediate attention.
They can even show the victim rotten wood and felt and convince the victim that it is from their roof.
In reality, the rotten wood and thatch will have been brought in by the roofer as part of the elaborate deception designed to get the victim to agree to expensive and unnecessary roofing that they don’t need.
Officers have given the following advice to residents and ask that their loved ones also be informed:
- Never allow cold callers to work on your property. If you need repair work on your property, get three quotes from a reputable professional. By law, they must inform you of your right of withdrawal within 14 days and are not allowed to start work within the 14 days’ notice period.
- Don’t be pressured into having cold callers do work. If someone shows up at the door unannounced or behaves suspiciously, do not hand over money. Say you’re not interested, lock the door, and call someone you trust.
- Beware of your loved ones and neighbors – especially anyone who is older, lives alone or has any work done on their property that seems suspicious – fraudsters are persuasive, persistent and can often prey on the most vulnerable in our communities.