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