‘Prolific’ South Yorkshire doorstep fraudster fined after trying to trick Alzheimer's sufferer
A door-to-door fraudster who tried to con residents in several South Yorkshire neighbourhoods out of money by telling a string of lies has been sentenced in court.
Lee Turton, 40, of Underwood Avenue, Worsbrough, knocked on the doors of a number of residents in Barnsley town centre, Worsbrough and Darfield on Friday 7 and Saturday 8 May and gave various “bogus” reasons for needing money, police said.
PC Will Oya, investigating, said: "His excuses included asking for money to get a taxi home and saying he needed petrol money for his car. He even tried to persuade an elderly Alzheimer's sufferer that he had carried out work on their property and required payment for it.
"Luckily none of the victims fell for Turton's lies, and nobody gave him any money, but his crimes have been taken seriously and I'm pleased this prolific offender has now been dealt with at court."
Turton was charged with four counts of fraud by false representation and appeared at Sheffield Magistrates' Court on Tuesday (12 May), where he pleaded guilty to all the charges. He was fined £120 and ordered to pay a victim surcharge of £32.
PC Oya added: "Turton's crimes are an example of doorstep fraud, where criminals turn up at your door and use various methods to try to trick you out of money.
"You can protect yourself from these by being suspicious of anybody who turns up at your door uninvited, keeping your door locked with the chain on, asking to see callers' ID cards if they claim to be from a company, and asking a relative or friend who lives closeby to be on standby to pop over if somebody turns up on your doorstep and you're unsure of what to do.
“Genuine callers will never have a problem if you say you'd like to take extra steps to verify who they are."
If you think you have been caught out by a doorstep scam, report it to the specialist fraud advisers at Action Fraud by calling 0300 123 2040 or visiting actionfraud.police.uk.