Inner-west residents are being warned to be alert for roof repair scam artists.
An 83-year-old Yarraville man was home alone last week when he had a knock on the door from someone saying they were looking for an address in the area.
“He said he was doing work in the area and he noticed that dad’s roof needed repair,” said the Yarraville man’s daughter, who asked not to be named.
“Dad asked how much and the bloke said $800 and asked for $300 deposit.”
Her father handed over $50, the only money he had.
The woman caught wind of the situation and made sure she was at her father’s house when the man returned the next day demanding more money.
An invoice he provided, seeking payment for work she said had not been done, included a name she later researched.
She discovered he had been convicted in 2009 of fleecing more than $20,000 from a 78-year-old pensioner.
The magistrate at the time described the man as “predatory” and “heartless”.
The woman said she sent him packing, but her father was later harassed by phone to make further payments.
She is warning people to remain vigilant.
“There are a lot of elderly people living in the neighbourhood,” she said.
Other incidents of roof scams have been reported in and around Seddon.
Footscray police inspector Adrian Healy said he believed there has been a spike in roofing scams in general, though not particular to the area.
Victorian Consumer Affairs Minister Marlene Kairouz sparked controversy earlier this month when she linked the scam with Irish workers.
“If anybody knocks on your door that has an Irish accent, automatically ask them to leave,” she said.