Conmen force Oakham pensioner to hand over £400 at cash machine

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Police have hit out at “despicable” conmen who drove an elderly man to a cash machine and forced him to hand over £400.

Two fraudsters knocked on the door of the man’s home in Oakham on Tuesday last week.

They claimed the warranty on his stairlift was coming to an end and the man and his wife, who have not been named, would have to pay for a new maintenance package immediately.

One of the conmen escorted the pensioner to the nearest cash machine while the other stayed with his wife at their home.

The man was forced by the crook to withdraw £400 from the cash machine and hand it over.

The alarm was only raised by the couple’s daughter after her father mentioned what had happened.

Rutland local policing unit commander Insp Kam Mistry condemned the fraudsters who left the couple shaken and scared by the incident.

He said: “Fraud committed against the elderly or vulnerable is a despicable crime.”

Police are investigating the fraud and have issued some advice for Rutland residents.

Insp Mistry added: “If you’re not sure who is at your door, don’t open it.

“Check the identity of the caller by calling the company they are purporting to be from.

“You can always telephone a neighbour or friend nearby to come along and check out the caller before you open the door to them.”

Trading standards officers from Rutland County Council are working with police on the investigation.

Council leader Coun Roger Begy (Con) said: “We are fortunate to live in an area of the country where levels of crime are extremely low.

“However, this shocking incident shows we are not immune to doorstep crime and it is still very important not be complacent.

“For the avoidance of any doubt, the council will never arrive at your house without an appointment, and there is absolutely no circumstance in which we will ask you for money at your home address.

“If you are in any doubt about a doorstep caller, ask to see their identification and take your time to examine it carefully.”

Police have also issued advice via their Neighbourhood Link e-mail alert service.

The message said: “If you are approached in a similar way, please, do not open your door and contact the police on 999.”

To join the alert service and receive crime updates from your area via e-mail, visit the Neighbourhood Link website and create an account.