Conman tricks pensioner into handing over his entire life savings of more than £100,000

E-fit of suspect who called himself

E-fit of suspect who called himself "Howard"

First published in News
Last updated
The Bolton News: Photograph of the Author by , crime reporter

A CONMAN has swindled an elderly man out of more than £100,000 - his entire life savings - by repeatedly tricking him into handing over cash.

The 70-year-old victim was duped after agreeing to have maintenance work carried out on his driveway in Leigh.

The fraudster, who claimed to be called Howard and work for a company called Marshalls, stole £107,000 over 15 months.

After the pair agreed for work to be carried out some men carried out the work several days later, which amounted to his driveway being jet washed. Cash was then paid for the work.

Shortly after the money had been exchanged, “Howard” contacted the victim and told him he had overpaid and was due a refund.

He told him that he needed to pay him some more cash and that in return he would supply a cheque for the full amount owed.

The victim continued to hand over cash for more than a year, believing he would be reimbursed, and he feared he would not be reimbursed if he did not comply.

The crimes started in May 2012, but the elderly man has now lost all his savings and eventually had to take out a loan to make the final payments.

The conman started to send a “courier” to collect funds from the victim as cash amounts increased.

Police were called when the man’s family raised alarm last August after realising his savings had gone.

They have since been carrying out a cover investigation and examining CCTV, phone and financial records.

Det Con Richard Willoughby said: “This is an absolutely tragic case in which the victim has been repeatedly targeted over a prolonged period of time and has ultimately lost everything.

“He has been caught in a vicious circle, not wanting to stop payment over concerns he would not see any of his money again and only paying in the vain hope the situation would change and he would be reimbursed.

“The actions of the offender are wicked and shameful. To knowingly take so much money from a vulnerable pensioner is despicable and I don’t know how the person responsible can live with themselves.

“We have conducted all manner of enquiries and unfortunately the identity of ‘Howard’ remains unknown.

“I now want to appeal to the public to look closely at the digital image compiled and if anyone thinks they recognise someone from this, please get in touch.”

Information is also wanted about the courier, the wider scam and anyone who has fallen foul to something similar.

He encouraged people not to agree to work with cold callers without receiving a full quote, receipt for work and seeing identification.

The suspect is white, between 5ft 10in and 6ft tall, in his 30s and clean shaven with brown hair that is brushed to give it height on the head.

He always dressed quite smartly and spoke with a southern or south western accent.

Anyone with information is asked to call police on 0161 8567225, or Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555111.

Comments (11)

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12:10pm Tue 27 May 14

Jim271 says...

Why do people fall for these scams?

Any decent builder will accept payment on completion. If not get a builder that will.

Problem solved.
Why do people fall for these scams? Any decent builder will accept payment on completion. If not get a builder that will. Problem solved. Jim271
  • Score: -12

12:24pm Tue 27 May 14

Lancashire always says...

Why didn't his bank flag up the alarming amount of money this man was withdrawing ?? Scumbags like this prey on the vulnerable and always will Years ago the TSB on Blackburn road alerted an old lady's family when `Roofers ` attempted to take thousands of pounds of her for repairs that were clearly not done.
Why didn't his bank flag up the alarming amount of money this man was withdrawing ?? Scumbags like this prey on the vulnerable and always will Years ago the TSB on Blackburn road alerted an old lady's family when `Roofers ` attempted to take thousands of pounds of her for repairs that were clearly not done. Lancashire always
  • Score: 29

12:48pm Tue 27 May 14

cliff4treasurer says...

Only if there was a bonus for them would the bank staff do more than what they have to do!
Only if there was a bonus for them would the bank staff do more than what they have to do! cliff4treasurer
  • Score: 16

1:10pm Tue 27 May 14

zoomzam says...

These are scumbags.They even threaten you at times. Ban all sales people from knocking on doors!
These are scumbags.They even threaten you at times. Ban all sales people from knocking on doors! zoomzam
  • Score: 24

1:43pm Tue 27 May 14

boltonnut says...

This unfortunate man was certainly taken to the cleaners.All joking aside,it's a pity that we can't jetwash away all the scum like Horward.
This unfortunate man was certainly taken to the cleaners.All joking aside,it's a pity that we can't jetwash away all the scum like Horward. boltonnut
  • Score: 12

1:59pm Tue 27 May 14

Chrome1 says...

A fool and his money as they say. Anyway what was a pensioner doing with all that money?
A fool and his money as they say. Anyway what was a pensioner doing with all that money? Chrome1
  • Score: -40

4:24pm Tue 27 May 14

Phil from Smithills says...

Chrome1 wrote:
A fool and his money as they say. Anyway what was a pensioner doing with all that money?
A hint of jealousy here.
[quote][p][bold]Chrome1[/bold] wrote: A fool and his money as they say. Anyway what was a pensioner doing with all that money?[/p][/quote]A hint of jealousy here. Phil from Smithills
  • Score: 20

7:16pm Tue 27 May 14

Chrome1 says...

Phil from Smithills wrote:
Chrome1 wrote:
A fool and his money as they say. Anyway what was a pensioner doing with all that money?
A hint of jealousy here.
Duh, stupid comment. What's jealousy got to do with anything?
[quote][p][bold]Phil from Smithills[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Chrome1[/bold] wrote: A fool and his money as they say. Anyway what was a pensioner doing with all that money?[/p][/quote]A hint of jealousy here.[/p][/quote]Duh, stupid comment. What's jealousy got to do with anything? Chrome1
  • Score: -17

8:34pm Tue 27 May 14

BibbleBobble says...

Jim271 wrote:
Why do people fall for these scams?

Any decent builder will accept payment on completion. If not get a builder that will.

Problem solved.
This old man fell for this scam because he is vulnerable, like many of our elderly people are.

That is why it's important that decent and caring people look out for them, and not make pathetic crass comments about their demise.
[quote][p][bold]Jim271[/bold] wrote: Why do people fall for these scams? Any decent builder will accept payment on completion. If not get a builder that will. Problem solved.[/p][/quote]This old man fell for this scam because he is vulnerable, like many of our elderly people are. That is why it's important that decent and caring people look out for them, and not make pathetic crass comments about their demise. BibbleBobble
  • Score: 15

12:51am Wed 28 May 14

frank bough says...

this bloke's 70 not 110

sounds like he's vulnerable by being stupid, not because of any lost faculties
this bloke's 70 not 110 sounds like he's vulnerable by being stupid, not because of any lost faculties frank bough
  • Score: -1

10:11am Wed 28 May 14

coolcat says...

Jim271 wrote:
Why do people fall for these scams?

Any decent builder will accept payment on completion. If not get a builder that will.

Problem solved.
They fall for it because they are afraid, demented perhaps and the "a nice young man offered to fix my roof" conversation may be the only person they've spoken to for a while. Then they are intimidated and frightened by someone calling for a cheque 2/3 times a week from an elderly person with short term memory loss. I know, it happened to my mother. These people are beyond description, lower than the low. They target deliberately, exchange information with other criminals about vulnerable people and divide up the spoils.
[quote][p][bold]Jim271[/bold] wrote: Why do people fall for these scams? Any decent builder will accept payment on completion. If not get a builder that will. Problem solved.[/p][/quote]They fall for it because they are afraid, demented perhaps and the "a nice young man offered to fix my roof" conversation may be the only person they've spoken to for a while. Then they are intimidated and frightened by someone calling for a cheque 2/3 times a week from an elderly person with short term memory loss. I know, it happened to my mother. These people are beyond description, lower than the low. They target deliberately, exchange information with other criminals about vulnerable people and divide up the spoils. coolcat
  • Score: 3

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