A Lanarkshire-wide crackdown on bogus callers has been hailed a success following the conviction of a prolific offender who defrauded elderly and vulnerable people in Cumbernauld.
Brian Khan (21), of Hamilton, was recently jailed for five years at Airdrie Sheriff Court for various frauds in which older victims were intentionally targeted.
Between October 2012 and May 2013, Khan visited a 78-year-old woman in Cumbernauld and over repeated visits was able to defraud her of more than £15,000. Initially offering to repair some loose tiles for a small fee, he returned again and again.
Similarly, he defrauded an 85-year-old Cumbernauld widower by firstly offering to repair gutters for a small fee. He then falsely claimed the roof was badly damaged and defrauded the man of over £2,250 for work that did not need doing.
Khan was tracked down after a Bellshill woman refused to pay a charge of £2,500 and called police for help. This sparked a joint investigation between police and Trading Standards who visited the house in Bellshill to confirm no work had been done and the repairs Khan had claimed were necessary were not.
Khan was arrested soon afterwards and sentenced to a total of five years in June.
Detective Inspector Kevin Jamieson, who heads Operation Doric team, said today: “Doorstep crime is one of the worst crimes that someone can commit. The deliberate targeting of elderly and vulnerable people, to extort and defraud them of money is abhorrent.
“This type of crime is prevalent all year round, however, we do seem to see an increase in the spring and summer months. Those who commit these types of crimes are deplorable individuals who have no regard for the misery and fear they cause the people they target.”
Residents are advised to beware unexpected callers.