Con man tried to trick 99-year-old

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Sussex Police are urging residents to be wary of bogus callers after a 99-year-old Eastbourne man was nearly conned out of £800.

A man called at his home last Friday afternoon (June 7) stating he was from a company that had previously carried out work on the driveway. He told the elderly man that he was due compensation as a complaint had been received about the quality of the work.

He asked the elderly male for his phone number and said the company computer system was down and, having left the scene, called him back moments later saying he was entitled to £4,000 compensation but he had to pay £800 cash up front. After being urged by the fraudster to get a taxi to his bank and withdraw the cash, the homeowner said he wanted to speak with his son first before handing any cash over. Having discussed the incident with his son they realised it was a scam and called police.

PCSO Michael Perry said, “Fortunately the elderly man was not taken in by this fraudster.

“Bogus callers may be smartly dressed and claim to be an official from the council, police or utility companies. They can also turn up as builders or gardeners and try and trick you into paying for unnecessary work; or pretend to be dealers offer to buy antiques. Chances are they are trying to trick you out of your money.

“Residents are more aware and cautious of people knocking on their doors. Stop and think if you were expecting someone and ask who they are. If you choose to open the door put on the chain and keep it on while you talk to the doorstep caller.”

If you suspect a bogus caller is at your door call the police immediately.