The following article by 9news.com.au details the heartless roofing scam that Meredith Cooper fell victim to, setting her back a whopping $156k.
A new group of heartless scammers has elderly Australians in their sights, fleecing them of their entire life savings.
Meredith Cooper, 78, is one of dozens caught up in the post-storm roof rort and has lost $156,000.
The men knocked on her door after the recent wild weather in Sydney, telling Mrs Cooper her roof was about to cave in.
“They lifted a couple of tiles and they said that the roof was totally flooded it was like a swimming pool”.
The trusting pensioner headed to the bank and after several withdrawals over two weeks, she withdrew $156,000, no questions asked, and the scammers had no problems taking it.
“I’m very ashamed, very embarrassed and it’s affected me greatly,” she said.
Mrs Cooper has had a lot on her mind lately, caring for her elderly husband who has just been diagnosed with terminal cancer.
And distracted by that, she admits she was vulnerable and too trusting.
“This ‘John’ was a very good talker and I said with the worry with my husband, I wasn’t thinking very clearly, because usually I’m pretty canny about this kind of thing, but not this time. No way,” she said.
This gang might be brazen, but they certainly aren’t original.
Time after time, the elderly in our suburbs are being targeted by sweet-talking overseas tradesmen who’ve come to rip them off and then race home with their money.
Detective Superintendent Linda Howell from the Financial Crime Squad is investigating dozens of post-storm scams.
In one of the worst cases, a 90-year-old Sydney woman handed over more than $169,000.
“It’s absolutely despicable behaviou,” Det Supt Howell said.
“Whatever you do, do not engage with them, close the door and call police.”
Police believe the group is still in the country, but even if they find them, it’s highly unlikely their victims will ever see their money again.