Man arrested after ‘vulnerable homeowners targeted’ by cold callers

A man has been arrested after reports of door-step tradesmen offering to carry out work for vulnerable homeowners at inflated prices.

Detectives have arrested a 44-year-old man after seven reports of suspicious activity across the region in just one week.

Concerned residents across the region contacted police about tradesmen turning up at their address unannounced to carry out roofing work at their property.

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Police say they offered to carry out the labour at massively over-inflated prices.

Six of the victims cold-called by the men handed over cash in return for little or no work. In total victims have handed over an estimated £2,320.

The offences were reported in areas including Blyth, Newcastle, Gateshead and Sunderland.

An investigation was launched and on Wednesday evening a 44-year-old man was arrested in County Durham on suspicion of fraud.

Detective Inspector Mal Stratton, of Northumbria Police, said: “From the reports we have had, elderly people have been targeted by people we believe to be responsible for fraudulent offences.

“We are aware some victims have handed over money in return for little to no work. Not only does this leave them out of pocket but it makes them feel embarrassed and upset.

“This offending is despicable and we know the vast majority of our communities will be outraged that vulnerable people have been targeted in this way.

“We have made an arrest and we hope our proactive response reassures those victims, and the wider community, that we want to hold those responsible to account.

“If you have vulnerable family, friends or neighbours then please take the time to speak to them about these types of offences and if you have any suspicions or concerns then please get in touch.”

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Chronicle Live – Sunderland