A man has been charged with fraud-related offences following an investigation into a scam targeting the elderly in the state’s Orana region.
In June 2020, it is alleged a 46-year-old man engaged in conversation with a woman, aged 70, at the Narromine Hospital about conducting maintenance work at her home.
About 12pm on Friday (26 June 2020), it is alleged the man and a woman attended the victim’s home on Meringo Street at Narromine, transporting her to a bank to withdraw a sum of cash for payment.
The pair allegedly requested and received payment of $2800 prior to commencing maintenance of the woman’s roller door, before avoiding contact with the victim.
On Monday 29 June 2020, officers attached to Orana Mid Western Police District were notified of the incident by concerned neighbours.
Police commenced an investigation into the matter.
Officers will alledge a second woman, aged 83, was approached by the pair at her home on Manildra Street at Narromine when they offered to split wood at the residence.
It is alleged the woman gave the man a sum of cash to purchase a new axe, however he failed to provide the change.
Following investigations, about 5pm yesterday (Wednesday 15 July 2020) police arrested the man at a home on Cathundril Street, Narromine.
He was taken to Narromine Police Station and charged with dishonestly obtain financial advantage by deception (x2), and drive disqualified – second offence.
He was bail refused to appear before Dubbo Local Court today (Thursday 16 December 2020).
Detective Inspector Paul Stephens of Orana Mid Western Police District encouraged residents to check on their elderly neighbours.
“As our detectives continue to investigate these incidents, we encourage everyone to remain vigilant, and to share these warnings with their parents and grandparents,” Det Insp Stephens said.
“Fraud is theft by deception and often you won’t know it’s happened until it is too late.
“Do not be afraid to ask the right questions – what is the person’s name and what company do they represent.”
Homeowners can safeguard against becoming a victim by following a number of simple precautions:
• Never let anyone inside you house or unit if you don’t know them
• Always ask for identification – a business card is not enough
• Never keep large amounts of money around the house
• If you are uncertain about the persons credibility, obtain their details and contact NSW Fair Trading
• Banks do not send anyone to your house to collect anything
Further advice and information can be found at the Ageing and Disability Commission website.
Anyone with information about this incident is urged to contact Crime Stoppers: 1800 333 000 or https://nsw.crimestoppers.com.au. Information is treated in strict confidence.