People Urged To Keep An Eye Out For Fraudsters Who Target Elderly
Police in north Worcestershire are asking people to be on the look out for fraudsters who target elderly people for money.
Officers are making the appeal following a report where a man in his 80s from Kidderminster handed over £20,000 for building work which he had already paid for.
It is alleged that the victim - who has difficulties with his short-term memory - may have been conned into paying a company repeatedly for the same work between March 2011 and January 2012.
Detective Constable Paul Lofthouse is investigating and is keen to hear about any similar incidents. He said: "We take reports where the most vulnerable in society are targeted for their life savings extremely seriously and we would like to know if there are any other potential victims out there who need our help.
"Memory loss can be a feature of old age and can often make it more difficult for the elderly to manage their finances. Sadly, fraudsters often exploit this vulnerability in order to trick the elderly out of money.
"The case we are currently investigating did not come to light until the victim started struggling to pay bills because his savings had been completely wiped out.
"Because of this, I would ask that anyone with a friend or relative who suffers from memory loss advises them to keep an eye on their finances to make sure they are still in order. If any suspicious transactions are found - such as large amounts of money paid repeatedly to the same person - then please call the police.
"Also, if you know of any elderly person who has had building work carried out recently, make sure they are happy with what has been done and that a fair price has been paid. Become suspicious if a builder seems to spend a lot of time at the house without actually doing any work, as this could be a sign that they have ulterior motives for being at the property.
"If any of this sounds familiar, please call us on the non-emergency number 101."
A man and a woman, both in their 30s and from Halesowen, were arrested yesterday (2 August) in connection with the Kidderminster fraud investigation. They have been released on police bail while officers continue their inquiries.