| 9.1°C Dublin

Warning as OAP hit by builder's con

THE family of an elderly woman who was tricked out of €10,000 for a construction job in her home have warned senior citizens to be vigilant with workers coming into their home.

The 74-year-old woman who suffers from Parkinson's Disease employed a company to renew the paving and tarmacadam in her front and back gardens.

But when the lady paid the agreed €4,000 to the workman for the job, he demanded another €10,000.

The woman's daughter, who does not wish to be named, told the Herald that her mother felt threatened by the man who was over 6ft tall.

"My Mam saw an ad in the paper and she wanted to get her front garden tarmacadamed and her back garden slabbed. He said he could do the front for €2,000 and the back for €2,000."

"She was going to have more work done in the house and that's the only reason she withdrew the money from the bank."

"He turned around to her and said he needed more money and he said, 'I'm not leaving here until you give it to me.' He intimidated her."

She added: "She felt threatened and she felt like he wouldn't leave her home until he had the money. It was all in ¤50 notes and he spent a half an hour counting it all out."

The elderly woman was scared that the man would turn violent.

Her daughter said: "The night before this she had heard about another old woman on the news who had been battered, and she felt vulnerable. She was intimidated by him."

"He frightened the life out of her, he said: 'You'd better give me the money.'"

The family eventually received the money back last Tuesday, and the company has told the Herald that the overcharged amount was an "honest mistake".

But the Artane natives have warned other elderly residents to be cautious about who they employ to work in their homes.

Local representative Cllr Julia Carmichael said elderly residents are constantly being conned by bogus callers.

"If someone comes in and can sell themselves across as an honest person, then the homeowner begins to trust them. But there's nothing wrong in elderly people requesting contact details first and going away to consider what the caller is selling."

hnews@herald.ie