‘Dodgy’ builders scam pensioner out of cash

Deputy Mayor Jack Thompson is disgusted builders have targeted an old lady to con money out of her and then damaged her house.
Deputy Mayor Jack Thompson is disgusted builders have targeted an old lady to con money out of her and then damaged her house.
Share this article

AN ELDERLY woman has been conned out of cash and her property damaged by rogue builders.

And now deputy mayor of South Elmsall Town Council is warning others not to fall foul of cowboy builders.

The 89-year-old pensioner, who did not want to be named, was told by the men last Monday that an outdoor pipe on her home had broken and it would cost £40 to fix.

She agreed and let the men carry out the work as she was convinced by the men it was needed.

Coun Jack Thomas – who helps take care of the lady by doing shopping for her - said when they had finished they demanded an extra £70.

But she told the men she could not afford the extra money and that it had not been agreed beforehand.

They then tried to bully her into giving them the extra cash, but she refused, despite being terrified.

Neighbours saw what was happening and called the police.

The men then left without the extra cash, but returned later that day and damaged her property.

Coun Thomas, 72, has been in the building trade for 45 years, and said: “Because she didn’t pay the extra money they went back and ripped the pipe off the wall.

“I went to fix it and what they said would cost £110, only cost me £4 to put right.

“No work had been done whatsoever so they were just out to make money off a vulnerable person.

“She is absolutely petrified and could not sleep for worrying about it.

“I am utterly disgusted at what has happened, it’s terrible.

“I just want people to be aware that there are dodgy builders around and they may be trying their luck in surrounding areas.”

He said there had also been gardeners roaming the towns during the past month, offering their services - but did not actually carry out any work.

Coun Thomas said: “I want people to be on their guard so these despicable people can’t get away with treating people like this any more.”

The incident was reported to the police.

Inspector Geoffrey Carter from the South East Neighbourhood Policing team warned people to be wary of cold calls from builders.

He said: “This is an example to show that we need to be careful who knocks on your door.

“My advice to all those in the area would be to be very careful who residents let do work on their homes, and always ask for identification.

“If residents want work carried out on their house, only use reputable companies.”

If anyone has information about the builders, contact the police on 101 or anonymously by calling Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.