Warning after bogus Leeds workmen’s ‘headache’ scam

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BOGUS workmen have been tricking their way into vulnerable Leeds people’s homes by using a fake headache ruse.

West Yorkshire Police and West Yorkshire Trading Standards are now warning homeowners to be on their guard following a spate of recent distraction burglaries.

In Otley, an 82-year old man was cold-called by two men with Irish accents. One asked the homeowner if he had any tablets for a headache and followed him into the property before asking to use the toilet. Fortunately the householder was suspicious and remained alert, ensuring the man was not left on his own.

The same day, there was a similar incident at another house in Otley, where another elderly man was approached by the same gang asking him if he wanted work doing on his roof. Again, they asked if he had anything for headaches. Luckily the householder obtained a registration number of the men’s car and they were subsequently arrested. One of the men has since been deported to Ireland, where he is wanted in relation to other offences. In Rawdon, another distraction burglary took place at the home of an 87-year-old blind and partially deaf woman. A man selling tea towels on the doorstep walked into the house and stole a large sum of cash.

David Lodge, head of West Yorkshire Trading Standards, said: “This time of year sees a sharp increase in complaints about cold callers offering roofing, gardening, driveways etc. As the recent complaints show, a number of criminals do pose as doorstep sales people and bogus utility company officials often involved in carrying out distraction burglaries. We urge residents to be on their guard and report anything that is suspicious.”

Report suspicious cold callers to Trading Standards via the Citizens Advice Consumer Helpline on 08454 040506 or the police’s 101 number.

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