Man to appear in court charged with fraudulently selling household products at inflated prices to a pensioner in Whitburn
A man is due to appear in court charged with fraudulently flogging cheap household products to a pensioner at a hugely inflated price.
It follows an incident earlier this year when police were alerted after a woman in her 80s had been targeted by a bogus seller who had knocked on her door in Whitburn.
The woman, who lived on her own in sheltered accommodation, was sold a range of household items including microfiber cloths, a pair of scissors and a duster stick for the price of £55.
It is reported that the 26-year-old man did not have permission to enter the residential development and it is also alleged that the seller misguided the victim by claiming that if he sold five items he would receive a gift of driving lessons from his employer, and if he sold seven items then he would receive one-week free accommodation.
Officers launched an investigation and identified a suspect from the Middlesbrough area who they believed had been travelling to South Tyneside to commit the fraudulent act.
Following a three-month investigation, he was charged with fraud by false representation and is due to appear before magistrates in South Tyneside this summer.
PC Thomas Scott, of Northumbria Police, said: “Over the last three months, we have been carrying out a range of enquiries in response to this report and a man will now appear in court to answer these charges.
“It is equally important that the public understand that fraudsters do operate in this area and can often prey on the most vulnerable in our communities. They can be very persistent and persuasive when at the door of somebody who is elderly or vulnerable – so I’d urge caution and vigilance.
“If somebody turns up at your door unannounced, or is acting suspiciously, please do not hand over any money. Say you are not interested and lock the door.
“We would ask anyone who believes they have been a victim of fraud to always report it to police.”