Fraudsters Scam Almost $170,000 From 90-Year-Old Victim
A 90-year-old woman has become the latest victim in a series of scams from fake roofers who are preying on vulnerable Sydney residents.
The scams have been taking place around the suburb of Burwood in Sydney's inner west with police first releasing an alert about the thefts in November.
The un-named 90-year-old woman is the latest to be targeted, after she was told her roof was in immediate need of repair.
Not only did she give up approximately $169,000 to the sham roofers, but police say she went to the bank to withdraw more funds after being told more money was needed for the repairs.
When she tried to withdraw the funds, she was told by bankers that they believed she was being scammed and they took her to see the local police.
"The victims are being told that their roof is damaged in some way and that these people are prepared to do the work to repair the roof," Detective Inspector Linda Howlett said on Friday. .
The targets of these scams are elderly or vulnerable people who are usually approached over the phone or by a knock on the door.
"You're talking about a victim who's 90-years-old, who might not be aware of the current prices." said Howlett.
When asked about what message she would have for the scammers, Howlett's response was clear.
"Trust me we're out there, we will arrest you and you will be charged and prosecuted." said Howlett.
NSW Police say homeowners can safeguard against becoming a victim by following a number of simple tips:
• Never let anyone inside you house or unit if you don’t know them
• Always ask for identification - a business card is not enough
• Never keep large amounts of money around the house
• If you are uncertain about the credibility of tradespeople, obtain their details and contact NSW Fair Trading
• Contact your local police or Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000
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