Guttering fraudster targets elderly Swanland resident

East Riding of Yorkshire

12 Mar 2019

We’ve been made aware of a scam during which a suspected bogus workman robbed an elderly woman in her home while pretending to be a roofing contractor who cleans drains and guttering.

A suspect in a white van approached a 79-year-old resident at her property on Wood View in Swanland on Wednesday 6 February insisting that her guttering needed clearing. 

He proceeded to fill a bucket with leaves, claimed that the work had been done and demanded money. 

The victim walked into her house and was followed by the suspect who took more than a hundred pounds from her and stole her house keys before leaving.

He has been described as white, around 5 feet 6 tall, of medium build, with light brown hair. There aren’t a lot of details about the van but it’s thought it was white and had the words ‘Roofing Services’ on the side and a ladder on top.

We’re asking anyone in the area who may have seen this van or suspect to contact us. Also we want anyone else who may have been approached in this way to call. Please quote reference 16/26512/19.

Detective Sergeant John Lavin from Beverley CID said: “Some criminals prefer to work face to face when committing crime, so be alert when someone knocks on your door, as they may be a distraction burglary or rogue trader.

“Distraction burglars are individuals who gain access to your property by distracting or tricking you before stealing items from your home. Rogue traders are criminals who take advantage of householders by using high-pressure and forceful sales techniques. 

“We want everyone to be vigilant when dealing with anyone who may knock on their door. If you’re concerned or worried, please call us. 

Follow our hints below for staying safe at your door:

  • Keep your doors and windows locked.
  • If someone comes to the door put the chain on before opening it.
  • Ask the caller what they want before unchaining the door, and don’t let them in unless you're sure they're legitimate.
  • You can do this by checking identification cards or calling the company they claim to work for. Don’t let them inside while you do so,
  • If you are unsure ask them to leave until you have a friend or family member with you.
  • Never agree to have work done without getting a second opinion or getting further quotes.