Whilst placing items in her bin, a lady in her late seventies was approached by a man claiming to be undertaking work for Salix Homes. The man enquired about a fence which had recently been fitted as part of regeneration works undertaken last year by the housing provider.
He informed the lady that the fences were due to be painted the following day (Fri) and that he needed to have a look at her property to see how much work needed carrying out. Upon a quick inspection, he claimed that the work would only cover the front fencing and that the rear fencing could be done at an additional charge and undertaken by himself.
The lady asked how much and was initially told £150, to which she told him that she did not have that kind of money hanging around, he then suggested a lesser fee and went on to tell her that unless the work was carried out the fence could rot and she would be liable to replace it. A second offer of £50 was made and she reluctantly accepted after the man promised to give her a receipt for the work.
She then went in to her property to get the money and asked her husband if he would go out, pay and get the receipt. She told him the man was from Salix and it was for additional work on the fence.
Her husband went out to ask the man what the work was for, only to be told that the manhole cover was also un-level and that he was willing to patch up the concrete as a 'foreigner' for an additional £50.
The husband sufferers from serious health issues which often leave him confused and so handed over the cash from his wallet as he thought it had been agreed by his wife.
The conman then told him he was going to go and get a receipt from his car but never returned.
Within ten minutes of the fraudsters departure the couples son came for a visit whereupon they told him what had happened and that they were waiting for the man to return with the receipt, at which point the alarm bells started ringing and their son immediately contacted Salix Homes to ask them if there was work planned on the property.
Salix confirmed during the phone call that there was no work pending and that all work on the fences had already been carried out the year before. They urged the couples son to contact the police via 101 and explain what had happened.
Upon doing so the couple were quickly visited by GMP who took witness statements and a description of the man who is said to be of stocky build, with Grey Hair and with an Irish Accent, he is also said to have been well dressed in a shirt, blue jeans and black shoes.
GMP was quickly on the scene and scoured the area but sadly the man had already made off with his ill-gotten gains.
The couple were deeply upset at what had happened and explained that they have both been undergoing various medical treatments due to serious illnesses:
"My husband has recently been informed he needs an operation on his spine and has been in ill health for many years, I have been ill recently myself with various health issues and I am currently awaiting results of testing on my heart.
"We are an elderly couple and in this instance it would seem we were both in a vulnerable state and gullible as we both genuinely thought he was from Salix. He was very convincing in his words and seemed to know what he was talking about with regards the fence work.
"Sadly we forgot the golden rule of asking to see identification and we have paid for it to the tune of £100, fortunately not a huge sum but still upsetting to think just how easily we were conned.
"We urge other residents to be out their guard and vigilant.
"Both Salix and GMP have been fantastic support and were quick to respond and to offer advice and support."
Salix Homes sends letters to all residents informing them prior to any work being carried out in homes, workers will always carry ID badges, which they are more than happy to show at all times.
If someone approaches you claiming to represent Salix then ask to see identification, if still unsure contact Salix directly and they will be able to tell you if the person at your door is genuine.
We are told Salix is to send out letters to residents in the area affected.
If you have been approached by this man or have any information then please contact GMP on 101.