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Rogue traders strike at homes of Maidstone pensioners in Tovil, Coxheath and Penenden Heath

Fraudsters are targeting homeowners by taking money to carry out work at properties before making off without finishing the job.

Police have had reports of scams being carried out in Maidstone in recent weeks and officers are warning people in the area to be extra vigilant when considering offers to carry out jobs around their home.

Rogue traders have targeted older people in their homes in Maidstone
Rogue traders have targeted older people in their homes in Maidstone

On March 16 two men visited the house of a Tovil pensioner and offered to do some gardening, but after their victim handed over cash in payment they fled without completing any of the work.

Two days later three men did the same at the home of a woman in Coxheath, while a man in Penenden Heath was victim to a similar scam on Monday when a man took payment for roof repairs which never materialised.

Inspector Mark Hedges, from Kent Police's Maidstone community safety unit, said: "Officers are investigating these incidents but I strongly urge residents to be careful about who they allow to complete work at their homes.

"Don’t be afraid to ask them for identification and if you have any doubts about a caller at your door, ask them to leave and come back at a time when you can have a friend or relative with you."

"While we work with partner agencies to protect the most vulnerable in our community, I would encourage people to look out for one another and report anything suspicious straight away by calling 101 or dialling 999 if a crime is taking place."

Anyone with information which could assist officers investigating these crimes should call 01622 604 100, quoting reference 16-0471.

You can also contact the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously by calling 0800 555 111 or using the anonymous online form at Crimestoppers-uk.org.

To get the latest updates in ongoing cases, police appeals and criminals put behind bars, click here

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