Published: 14:05, 21 September 2017
Two men have been arrested on suspicion of defrauding an elderly man out of £35,000.
The fraud is reported to have been committed in August this year when the victim, who is in his 60s, and from Chatham, was told his roof required extensive repairs.
The two men are alleged to have requested money from the victim upfront and then visited him on a number of other occasions and asked for more money for further work.
Officers from the Kent and Essex Serious Crime Directorate arrested one of the men, a 21-year-old from Gravesend, on suspicion of fraud on Monday, September 18.
While officers were at the scene of the initial arrest, a 28-year-old man from West Sussex arrived and was also arrested on suspicion of fraud.
Both men have been released pending further investigation.
The arrests follow a Kent Police warning published earlier this month reminding residents how to spot signs of fraud.
DI Annie Clayton of the serious economic crime unit said: “This type of criminality preys on some of the most vulnerable people in society, and often leaves victims penniless.
“In most cases, a fraudulent contractor will contact a victim in person or by phone and tell them about fictitious repair works needed for their home.
“They then offer an initial price for the unnecessary repairs and demand cash upfront before inventing further unnecessary work.
“Anyone approached in this way is advised to always obtain a second opinion on whether the work is necessary and to ensure that they get more than one quote before agreeing to any work being conducted.
“I would like to ask all members of the public to look out for their elderly neighbours and to call police if they see any suspicious contractors cold calling in the area.
“Kent Police, in conjunction with our partner agency trading standards, will actively pursue the people who commit this type of fraud.”
For further advice on fraud or for information on reporting fraud visit the Kent Police website.
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