‘I can see why people commit suicide over this’

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It is sad that many people dismiss repeat victims of scams as somehow unintelligent or naive. Many of us are incredulous how people can fall for such seemingly transparent cons. However, when you deal day to day with the hard reality of this type of crime you quickly see a different side to the story.

Mr X who lives in Solihull is an 88 year old man who has struggled for years with an incessant barrage of phone calls and letters peddling ‘investments’ and money recovery deals. He has paid out over £100,000 to fraudsters. The scams range from diamond investments, fine wine, carbon credits and land banking schemes. He is an aware,  intelligent person who worked for years within the financial sector.

Solihull Trading Standards have visited and spoken to the gentleman on many occaions. It has taken up to two years for us to convince him to change his telephone number to stop these rogues contacting him. He has always been reluctant to do this because he was afraid that family and friends would not be able to contact him. He said to us that he feels like a prisoner in his own home and he can understand ‘why people commit suicide over this.’

It is a sad fact of life that we live in a more cynical, suspicous age . Mr X believes what people say to him and implicitly trusts that the ‘deal’ he has entered into will be honoured. It has taken a very long time to convince him that the people who call him are only after ONE thing.  The criminal world has evolved and he cannot conceive the fact that people will make false promises and say anything to get his money.

There are many people out there who are very vulnerable and at risk of being targeted by criminals. As soon as they fall for one con they WILL be approached again.

If you are concerned about a Solihull resident or feel that you yourself have been affected by a scam please call us via Citizens Advice on 03454 04 05 06.

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Solihull pensioner cruelly cheated out of £20,000

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An elderly Solihull woman has given rogue traders £20,000 for a new roof for her property – all the ‘traders’ did was knock down a few bricks and then left not to be seen again.

The lady is very confused about the details of what has happened and is even unable to remember whether she called them or they knocked on her door. Her bank book reveals that she went to her local branch 8 times within a week and withdrew £2,500 each time. She does not know the name of any of the men she spoke to, their trading name or any details about them. We have been out to see the lady and have reassured her that we are here to help if the men reappear.

Elderly, vulnerable residents are being constantly targeted by conmen who have no moral scruples whatsoever to take as much money as they can from their targets. If you know of any information regarding rogue traders you think are operating in Solihull then please call us on 03454 04 05 06.