Fife businesses step in to help pensioner conned out of £3000

Jimmy outside his home which has been re-roofed for free. Pics by FPA
Jimmy outside his home which has been re-roofed for free. Pics by FPA

A caring community has rallied round to help after a 92-year-old man was callously conned out of £3000.

Jimmy Simpson, a retired driving instructor who taught many people in the town to drive, believed the man who called at his door in Harris Drive was an employee of a roofer friend of his who was carrying out work nearby.

Jimmy Simpson was conned out of �3000.

Jimmy Simpson was conned out of �3000.

It was only after the man failed to show up to carry out the work and he asked for the man’s details, that he realised he had been the victim of a fraudster.

On hearing of the scam a family friend took to social media to highlight Jimmy’s plight, and soon many people were offering their help, pledging money to reimburse him.

In addition his friend and another roofing company in the town offered to carry out the work for free, while Jewson in Kirkcaldy provided around £1000 of tiles and other materials, K-Scaff supplied the scaffolding and SIIS Ltd the fixtures and fixings – all for free.

Speaking to the Press this week, Jimmy said: “I couldn’t believe that I was caught out like that. I felt a right fool.

“I saw my friend’s van and his men working on a house nearby and when I saw the man going round the doors I assumed it was one of his workers. I needed my roof replaced, so I asked for a quote and from £4500, he reduced it to £3000.

“The next day I went to the bank for the money and he left some poles at the house. He said he had another job to finish and would be back later that day to do the job, I went out and when I came back the poles had disappeared and there was no sign of any work.

“I waited but nobody came so I went to my friend’s to get the man’s details. He said he didn’t know anything about him. That’s when I realised I’d been conned.”

Jimmy called his son and they drove around the town looking for the van they had seen the man in, but there was no sign, so they called the police.

Jimmy was left overwhelmed when, last weekend, a squad of roofers from two local companies turned up to do the work for him for nothing.

“I was overwhelmed at the number of good people who turned up to help do the work, those who gave money and all the materials. A neighbour also put on a barbecue for everyone.

“I can’t thank everyone enough for doing all this for me. It shows that something good can come out of something bad.

“I want to warn people to be very careful and check everyone thoroughly before they agree to have any kind of work done. Don’t pay any money up front like I did.”

Gordon Watson, manager at Jewson, said: “What happened was totally wrong and we just wanted to do something to help.”