An elderly man in Lurgan has been defrauded out of a large sum of money by two men in their thirties who spoke with what has been described as Newry accents. The two were travelling in a white van.

The incident occurred around 10am yesterday morning, Tuesday 31 October. The two men approached the homeowner in the Kingsway Drive area of Lurgan offering to clean and de-weed his drive and pathways. The elderly gentleman withdrew the money from his bank and handed it over to the males who did not carry out the work.

Chief Inspector Jon Burrows said: “This is a sickening exploitation of a vulnerable 79 year old man and I am appealing for anyone who witnessed the incident or anyone who seen two males in a white van in the Lurgan area yesterday to contact officers on 101 quoting reference 533 31/10/17.

“We recognise that not all cold callers are rogue traders or criminals however we want every householder, particularly the more vulnerable, to have the confidence to refuse services they do not require or want.

“Neighbours can also play a vital part in helping protect the more vulnerable in their community against this kind of crime. Look out for suspicious vehicles and people and report ALL suspicious activity to Police.

“We want to empower residents to discourage those unofficial traders who may overcharge an unsuspecting householder for poor quality work or work that is never completed at all. Rogue trading and its links to burglary can have a significant impact on the vulnerable and elderly within our communities. Often rogue doorstep traders target the most vulnerable in our society. If you would like crime prevention advice please speak the Crime Prevention Officer on 101.”