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Two men charged after allegedly defrauding vulnerable community member

Wednesday, 24 August 2022 04:18:29 AM

Police have charged two men following an investigation into the alleged defrauding of a man of almost $100,000.

Detectives from Ryde Police Area Command commenced an investigation in April 2021 following reports an 85-year-old Eastwood man had been defrauded.

It will be alleged in court that two men posed as employees of a roofing maintenance company, telling the man his roof required repairing.

The pair allegedly attended the home between March and September 2019 to perform roof maintenance work and demand payment for work not conducted on the roof.

It will be alleged more than 90 cheque withdrawals were made by the men, totalling in excess of $96,000.

Following extensive inquiries, two men – aged 42 and 29 – were arrested at Ryde Police Station about 9am on Monday 1 August 2022.

Both men were charged with dishonestly obtain financial advantage by deception.

They were granted conditional bail to appear at Hornsby Local Court today (Wednesday 24 August 2022).

Ryde Police Area Command’s Detective Chief Inspector Nicholls said the alleged incident was an opportunistic attack, taking advantage of vulnerable community members.

“After some good police work, we were able to identify the men involved and ensure they will be put in front of a court.

“This was a cowardly act, and we are warning the community to always check credentials before letting anyone into your home to perform any kind of work, unless you can verify you are dealing with a trusted source,” Det Ch Insp Nicholls said.

Members of the public are urged to take the following precautions when dealing with persons online, on the phone or in person:

  • If you have doubts about the identity of anyone who claims to represent a business, organisation or government department, contact the body directly. Don’t rely on contact details provided by the person – find them through an independent source such as a phone book or online search.
  • Never provide your personal or banking details to a person - remember that legitimate businesses don’t just call customers and ask for confidential information.
  • Don’t let scammers pressure you – scammers use detailed scripts to convince you that they’re the real deal and create a high-pressure situation to make a decision on the spot
  • If you think you have provided your account details to a scammer, contact your bank or financial institution immediately

Police strongly encourage the community to report any potential scams to their local police station, or to the ACCC via SCAMWATCH report a scam page www.scamwatch.gov.au or by calling 1300 795 995.

Anyone with information about suspected fraudulent activity is urged to contact Crime Stoppers: 1800 333 000 or https://nsw.crimestoppers.com.au. Information is treated in strict confidence. The public is reminded not to report information via NSW Police social media pages.