Five men have been arrested in Amsterdam for attempting to con a pensioner out of thousands of euros for unnecessary repairs to his home, police said on Tuesday.
The five attempted to get their victim, a 74-year-old man, to pay €20,000 for repairs after telling him that his house had multiple problems. Their victim paid a deposit but then went to the police, who arrested the men when they came back to pick up the rest of the cash.
The five suspects, aged 25 to 50, are currently suspected of attempting to con money out of one man but police say they may have been involved in other incidents. At least 10 cases, involving losses of up to €50,000, are under investigation.
The gang, police say, approach their victims, who are vulnerable and elderly, and tell them in broken English that their homes have problems – varying from a loose roof tile to a leaking pipe.
Once inside their victim’s home, they ‘discover’ other problems which they also offer to repair, adding to the total bill. Police even suspect that in some cases they have sprayed walls with water to show their victim a leak.
After their victims pay a deposit or for materials needed to carry out the repairs, the men take off, and are not seen again.
The police are warning people in Amsterdam to beware if workmen ring their doorbells offering to carry out repairs.
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