CALLOUS conmen have systematically fleeced thousands of pounds from a vulnerable pensioner as “payment” for unwanted odd jobs.
Housebound Alfred Frampton, 85, has handed over the entire contents of a bank account that once contained about £10,000 during repeated visits from intimidating workmen.
In the latest incident two men drove the granddad-of-four to Lloyds TSB bank in Huddersfield town centre so he could withdraw about £1,000.
They told him it was “wages” for work allegedly carried out on his Marsh council house three to four years ago.
Mr Frampton’s son, John, only discovered what had been happening when he tried to withdraw cash from the account for his father’s food shopping this weekend. The cash card was rejected.
Police have branded the criminals “despicable”.
Mr Frampton, who lives alone, told the Examiner he handed over the cash because he did not want to upset the conmen.
He said: “They were big people and I didn’t want to get on the wrong side of them.
“I feel rotten. My account is just about empty.”
The former chemical plant worker, who suffers from memory loss, said workmen had visited him a number of years ago to offer their services.
He told them he did not want anything doing, but believes they did some work anyway, including re-pointing the walls and roof repairs.
They have returned to his house a number of times in the last few months.
Mr Frampton said: “They told me their business doesn’t pay them any wages so they have to take payment off people like me.”
John Frampton, of Leeds Road, said it was unclear how many times his father had been targeted, or how much money had been taken.
He said: “About five or six years ago he had £10,000 in his account and he hasn’t been anywhere exotic or bought anything expensive since.
“A couple of months ago there was about £2,000 in the account.
“I think it’s absolutely disgraceful. This is an old man who is confused and doesn’t know what to do, for right or wrong.”
Det Con Russ Conlon said it was a sickening crime.
He said: “It’s despicable. Anybody who can have the gall to prey on someone so vulnerable is completely beyond the pale.”
And he issued a warning to other potential victims, saying: “If you are approached by strangers asking for money, don’t have anything to do with them.
“If you are unsure about who they are, make sure you have another member of your family there with you before you agree to anything.”
The latest incident involving Mr Frampton happened between 9am and 10.30am on Friday, April 18.
One of the suspects was white, in his 40s, 5ft 10ins, medium build, with short dark hair and a West Yorkshire accent.
The other was white, in his late teens or early 20s, 5ft 8ins and of slim to medium build.
They drove a black, three seater van.
Anyone with information should contact Det Con Conlon on 01484 436675 or Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555111.