Two rogue traders have been jailed after scamming elderly victims into paying for unnecessary repairs.
Albert Eastwood Jnr, 23, and Peter King, 46, were charged with conspiracy to commit fraud by false representation at Southwark Crown Court on Monday.
Eastwood Jnr was jailed for four years after admitting the offence.
King has been sentenced to four years and six months imprisonment after failing to turn up to court.
The men were discovered to be part of a larger network targeting homeowners and with the fake need for extra building work, during an investigation by the Metropolitan Police.
The two men were found to have targeted five victims between August 2016 and February 2017.
Eastwood Jnr and King targeted homeowners in Streatham, Ilford and Leatherhead.
Eastwood Jnr led the scam by approaching potential victims and offering to carry out unnecessary work on their homes before king, who does not have any formal building qualifications, carried out the “shoddy” work.
Detective Constable Stuart Robertson from the Met’s Organised Crime Command said: “These two men deliberately targeted elderly homeowners in a bid to scam them out of as much money as possible.
“They preyed on vulnerable victims and even went as far as to drive some of their victims to the bank to obtain their fraudulent funds as soon as possible.
“The group carried out these audacious crimes in broad daylight, with no concern for the wellbeing or livelihoods of the individuals they were targeting.”
Denise Turner-Stewart, Surrey County Council’s Cabinet Member for Community Safety, Fire and Resilience, said: “These men set out to defraud vulnerable people in Surrey and elsewhere and I’m pleased our joint investigation with the Metropolitan Police has resulted in these jail sentences.
“Our advice is never to do business on the doorstep, no matter how good the deal sounds. We receive lots of reports of doorstep traders offering their services, whether it be gardening, taking rubbish away or roof, driveway or other building works
"But dealing with them means you run a greater risk of ending up with an unreputable trader who charges extortionate amounts for shoddy or incomplete repair work.”
Anyone seeking advice or wishing to report an issue to Trading Standards should contact 03454 040506.