Elderly sisters warn after rogue traders steal £20,000 from their life savings

An e-fit of one of the men police are hunting in connection with the fraud against the OAP sisters in Windsor Road, Cosham
An e-fit of one of the men police are hunting in connection with the fraud against the OAP sisters in Windsor Road, Cosham

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DEVASTATED sisters conned out of £20,000 by rogue traders have said: ‘They’re just scumbags.’

The two Cosham pensioners, aged 80 and 79, have been left feeling ‘daft’ after parting with a huge chunk of their savings in the 10-day-long fraud.

Speaking to The News, the older sister said they made repeated trips to the bank after paying £2,000 up front.

One of the rogue traders, who police are now hunting, knocked on the door seemingly knowing the pair needed their kitchen floor replacing.

He ripped up the lino and made a hole in the floor, setting the sisters into panic,

The older sister, who The News agreed not to name, said: ‘They’re right little scumbags. They just took us for a ride, I had no idea what it was going to cost.’

The pensioners forked out the cash when the rogue traders came back every other day in the 10 days from February 4.

The victims went to the bank to take out the cash, while the fraudsters waited nearby.

The sister added: ‘What makes me so cross is we came out the bank and the other came out the travel agent with a brochure for cruises – what brazen beggars.

‘I reckon they took us for nearly £20,000 in the end.

‘It’s really upset me. I put it down to experience.

‘I couldn’t sleep thinking about what idiots we’ve been.’

Late into the con she cottoned on, told her insurer and was told to alert the police.

She was on the phone to officers when the traders returned and tried to keep them at her home in Windsor Road.

But the fraudsters went to their van and fled before officers could arrive.

Police did wait at the victims’ home one day when the traders were due back but they never showed after the victims asked them for a detailed invoice.

Neighbours said they were shocked that conmen had been operating in the area. Paul Argyle, 57, of Windsor Road said: ‘We got a leaflet through our door from the police, asking if we’d noticed a white van down the road, but we didn’t see anything. At the time we didn’t know what it was about, we read about it a few days later.

‘You can’t believe it can you? £20,000 — it’s horrendous. I feel really sorry for the sisters, I hope these men get caught and are named and shamed.’

Engineer Alex Lamont, 28, said: ‘It’s a shock to hear it happening on your own doorstep and it’s disappointing to hear of people’s hard-earned money being wasted like that. I can’t believe it.’

Pensioner John Tanner said: ‘I’ve been a victim of this sort of thing in the past. Five years ago I was conned out of £6,000 by a rogue builder, so I know how it feels. The people that do this are evil.

‘You feel two things when this happens to you, rage and shame. You ask yourself how you can be stupid enough to let it happen, but it does.

Anyone with information should call police on 101 quoting 44180059409.