A roofer is warning elderly homeowners of a gang of "conmen" operating in Northampton's neighbourhoods who charge thousands of pounds for fraudulent repair work.
Mark Pancoust, 49, says he has been called to two jobs in the Duston area where rogue traders have torn apart roofs and tried to charge extortionate prices to fix it.
One victim said the trouble started after a stranger cold-called at their house and offered to fix a minor tiling issue for free.
But once they were on the roof, they ripped up roof tiles and claimed to find extensive damage, then tried to charge over £3,000 to repair it.
The next day, they returned with a gang of workers and demanded payment.
When the homeowner said they would call the police, the gang fled.
Mark, a registered trader, said: "I've been to two jobs in Duston where the customers have said the same thing.
"I've had to fix the damage these rogue traders do in the first place. For the prices they try to charge you could have a whole new roof done."
The builders followed a four-step process when targeting their victims. They would cold-call at their house and offer to fix a minor problem on the roof. They would charge a small fee for the work - but then spot more serious problems that would need extensive repairs, often demanding thousands of pounds in cash.
But none of these problems existed. The court heard how they would then begin “tapping the well” - making repeat visits to the house to charge them more money.
Mark now wants to warn homeowners in Northampton not to put up with cold-callers or rogue traders.
Mark said: "I just don't want to see these elderly people get ripped off.
"You have to be strict with them and tell them you aren't interested. If you think you need any repair work done, only use registered and trusted traders."
If you suspect rogue traders are on your property, contact the police on 101.