Norbury pensioner conned on doorstep by bogus officials
A NORBURY pensioner has revealed how he was conned out of £2,000 by crooks posing as trading standards officers.
The man, who the Advertiser has agreed not name, fell foul of the scam after the fake officials knocked on his door asking to assess some work he had done on his roof.
He said: "One morning I went to the door and there was this guy who said he was from trading standards, and was looking at alterations in houses in the area to see if standards are being kept up.
"My roof had been redone about a year back and he said it looked nice but needed a couple of things done.
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"This surprised me because it had been done by professional roofers. I thought maybe it was some kind of bureaucratic thing."
The victim describes con man "Richard" as white, in his 40s, of short to medium height, stocky, with a tanned face and shaved head, and a London accent.
"Richard", who wore a convincing ID badge, even warned him of hoaxers at work in the area.
"Richard" won his trust when he returned with a "builder", a slim man in his 20s with short fair hair, to install "ventilation shafts" for free.
On May 31 the men called round a final time with a third "builder" and informed the man that there were dangerous cracks in his chimneys that would cost £3,000 to £4,000 to mend.
However, "Richard" offered to do the job at a reduced price, asking for £2,000 cash upfront for "building supplies".
After withdrawing the cash from the bank, he handed it to one of the "builders", who said he was going to get a receipt from his van parked nearby.
The victim said: "I was stupid and gave him the money. Then I went out after him to see where the van was, and I saw him running away down the road."
Realising he had been conned, he called trading standards who confirmed he had been the victim of a hoax.
He said: "It's quite a lot of money for me, particularly as I wasn't expecting to spend any more money on the roof after having it done last year.
"I felt angry and disappointed and foolish."
Simon Hoar, cabinet member for community safety, said: "Sadly, this is yet another case of an innocent, trusting householder falling foul of the convincing story of a heartless con man who will think nothing of stealing what might be his victim's life savings."
The incident has been reported to police who said enquiries were on going.