Rogue roofers trick Crouch End carer, 74, into handing over £3,000
PUBLISHED: 15:06 08 November 2019 | UPDATED: 15:44 08 November 2019
A Crouch End pensioner was swindled out of £3,000 by scammers who convinced her to pay them for work on her roof that didn't need to be done.
The woman, 74, who asked not to be named, is among a number of people to have been taken in by men posing as roofers in the west of Haringey since September.
She told the Broadway she bitterly regretted how credulous she had been, but wanted to speak out to warn others.
She said: "They pointed to the roof and said there was a loose tile." Explaining she had believed them and the men went up onto the roof, she continued: "They came back and said it was much more serious. It was an awful mess."
Told it would cost £3,000 to fix, the Crouch End woman paid in cash. She added: "I feel so stupid, I shouldn't have fallen for it, I can't afford it."
Financial journalist Nick Kochan told this newspaper he had been visited by what he thought must be the same men within a week of the woman, who is a neighbour.
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Nick, 65, told this newspaper he received a knock at the door and then workmen using a blue van told thim "they had spotted a serious problem". He said the roofer had removed some tiles, before - like in the woman's case - coming and asking him to sign a document allowing them to fix a "serious problem" in exchange for £6,800. He refused. Nick said he had a trusted roofer visit later the same day to confirm there was no defect.
He added: "It was a really hard sell, they said it was an emergency. My primary concern is that people are warned this trick is still being pulled."
In both cases, the con-artists left no paperwork, but the victims remember the company appeared to have an address in Hammersmith.
A spokesperson for Haringey Council, who run Haringey Trading Standards, said: "We would encourage homeowners to report this so we can look into it."
They added: "If anyone has information on these cases, we would urge them to please contact Citizens Advice Consumer Service on 03454 040 506.
"We will not tolerate this kind of behaviour and will take the strongest action possible."