Detectives hunt for smooth talking conman who stole thousands of pounds

Dumbuie Avenue, Silverton, Dumbarton, where a householder was conned.

By Bill Heaney

Police are looking for a smooth-talking workman with an Irish accent who duped a Dumbarton householder into handing over thousands of pounds for “urgent” roof repairs which were not needed.

Detectives have revealed that between Saturday, October 27 and Wednesday, October, 31, a bogus workman called at the home of a 57-year-old man in Dumbuie Avenue, Silverton, Dumbarton, and advised the householder that urgent roof repairs were required.

Police said: “The man then withdrew a four figure sum of cash from the bank and handed it over to the fraudster only to be told that he required several thousand pounds more.

“After withdrawing another two large sums of money, bank staff became suspicious and the transfers were stopped and police informed.”

Detectives are now looking for the suspect who is described as white, 5ft 9in – 6ft tall, of medium build with an Irish accent. He was wearing dark blue clothing.

Detective Constable Iain Watson said: “I would like to speak to anyone who was in the vicinity of Dumbuie Avenue and remembers seeing the suspect hanging around the area or was approached by him at their home offering to do work.

“Anyone with information is asked to contact police at Dumbarton via telephone number 101 and quoting incident number 1306 of 31 October 2018.”

He then warned the Dumbarton public: “I would also like to remind people to be careful when approached by callers who come to your door unannounced or uninvited and offer to carry out work to your home or sell items to you.

“Whilst many may be genuine, there are some people who will try to con you of money – sometimes large amounts of money.

“If you are at all suspicious of people who call at your home, ask them for identification and why they are there.

“Rogue traders will usually cold call, claiming to be workers offering to make repairs or carry out work on your house, garden or driveway.

“In reality, they charge inflated prices for sub-standard or unnecessary work or are trying to get into your home to steal valuables.

“Generally people are very trusting and it’s just wrong that these conmen prey on that trust.

“Some people are vulnerable and something like this happening to them can have a hugely detrimental effect on the life of victims.”

DC Watson added: “You can save yourself becoming a victim of this type of crime by not allowing callers into your house unless they have an appointment and have confirmed they are genuine.

“If you are in doubt, tell the caller to come back when another person is at home with you. Genuine callers won’t mind rearranging.

“I would also strongly advise against dealing with cold callers for property maintenance and repairs to your home – shop around if you decide you need work done.

“Finally, remember to look out for those in your community and report any suspicious activity immediately either by dialling 101 or 999 in an emergency.”



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