Three people have been arrested following a reported fraud which left an elderly victim with a damaged roof.
Officers were called to a property near Melbourne Avenue, Dover, on Saturday due to concerns about what a group of men where doing there.
The woman, in her 70s, called a friend at around midday to say that a man was on her roof and two other men were on her doorstep asking her to pay them cash for repair work.
She explained that the previous day men had turned up outside her home and offered roof repairs but she had not agreed to any work.
The concerned friend spoke to one of the men on the phone and asked them to leave. The suspects left in a van and no money was taken.
But roof tiles had been removed and inquiries are ongoing to determine the full extent of the damage.
Officers who attended immediately tracked a van causing suspicion to Thanet.
“I would urge everyone to be cautious about who they open the door to.” DS Marc Cananur
There they arrested a 44-year-old man from Gillingham and two men from Leicester, aged 21 and 34, on suspicion of fraud.
They have since been released on police bail until April 19.
Det Sgt Marc Cananur from the Economic Crime Unit said: “We are pleased the victim refused this work and phoned a friend for help.
“This was the right thing to do and meant that officers could make immediate enquiries. As such three men have been arrested and we are now investigating the circumstances.
“Residents, especially those with elderly or particularly vulnerable neighbours, are urged to keep an eye out for anything that seems suspicious. Whilst some callers may be genuine, others may not and I would urge everyone to be cautious about who they open the door to.”
Kent Police have offered the following safety advice:
- If someone knocks at your door, always refuse on the spot repairs or maintenance.
- Don’t allow anyone to pressure you into agreeing to have work carried out. If you ask them to leave and they don’t, contact the police on 999.
- Don’t ever go to a bank or cash point with a trader; legitimate traders would never do this.
- Use reputable traders who are members of the KCC Trading Standards approved trader scheme, run in partnership with Checkatrade.
- Ask for quotes in writing and check that the tradesperson is from the company they say they are from.
- Report anything suspicious straight away by calling 101, visiting the Kent Police website or dial 999 if a crime is taking place.
Read more: All the latest news from Dover