Warning as conmen target pensioners

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A warning has been issued after sneak conmen fleeced an elderly resident out of hundreds of pounds.

The pensioner had just had work done to tidy up his garden.

But not long after the gardeners had left, he received a knock on the door from two conmen claiming to be from the landscaping firm asking for the payment.

The man, who lives on Bent Lane, Leyland, paid £500. The gardening work was carried out by Leyland-based Duxbury’s, who explained it is not their policy to take cash payments – and warned other residents to beware of similar incidents.

Frank Duxbury, who owns the landscaping firm, said: “We were asked to do some work to get the garden looking tidy.

“We have done the job, then somebody has gone and called the man and claimed they done the work.

“We have been watched.”

The elderly victim, who is in his 80s, has asked not to be named for fear of similar incidents.

Mr Duxbury said his firm operates by giving a quote, ringing the customer to tell them they are coming to do the work, sending an invoice, often now by email, or through the post, then receiving the payment through the post or by telephone – with no cash payment involved.

He added: “The man is over 80, and lives in his own house and is vulnerable.

“It seems he is a bit forgetful, so I think residents are upset about it, that this could happen.

“I believe there were two people who called for the money, and from what I understand, almost immediately after we had left.

He added: “I’m a bit disturbed because we have always tried to run our business properly and agree to do the job to the best of our ability.”

Insp Steve Evans, of Leyland Police said: “It is always heartbreaking to see a vulnerable, elderly person taken advantage of by ruthless and unscrupulous individuals as has been the case in this situation.

“I would urge people to heed the stranger danger warning, be vigilant and ask for identification if anyone knocks at their door.”

He said anyone with information to the incident can ring him on 01772 415809.