THE ACTION of a member of the police has prevented an elderly woman in Basingstoke losing £4,000 to a potential rogue trader.

An 84-year-old woman was overheard by a police staff investigator in Halifax, in Wote Street on March 29, requesting to withdraw £4,000 to pay for repairs to her roof after a man had visited her home the same day.

The woman was told that the tiles on her roof needed to be replaced at a cost of £4,000 and was driven by the man to the town centre branch to withdraw the money as the man demanded payment upfront.

The 84-year-old was taken to Basingstoke police station and officers are now investigating the incident. A 21-year-old man from Egham, Surrey has been arrested on suspicion of fraud by false representation and has been bailed until June 30, pending further enquiries.

Detective Constable Paul Barry from Basingstoke police station said: “Please remember to ask anyone who knocks on your door for identification and if you are thinking about having any work done, follow these tips: ask friends or relatives to recommend tradesman, ask for a written quote, shop around before making a decision, don’t pay upfront and pay by cheque or credit card and keep an eye out for any elderly relatives or neighbours.”

If you have any concerns about rogue traders, please contact your local Safer Neighbourhoods team by calling 101.