Disgust after con artist came back to try scam again

Bernard Stewart has been targeted twice.
Bernard Stewart has been targeted twice.
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A disabled man has told how he is constantly “on edge” after falling prey to a predatory con artist.

Bernard Stewart, who is confined to a motorised scooter on the rare occasions he leaves his Grange Park home, has spoken of his disgust after the brazen thief tried to swindle him twice in a week.

A serial con artist has been targeting residents in the area, asking them to change a £20 note before running off with their cash.

After getting away with it once, the man tried the exact same scam on him just a week later – and even had the cheek to use the same excuse.

Mr Stewart, of Tynedale Road, said: “He told me he had moved into the flat upstairs and needed the change to clear the electricity metre.

“I gave him the change but he scarpered before I got my £20 note.

“This was about three weeks ago – now I’m triple locking my door and I’m totally on edge.

“I won’t forget him. If you put him in the middle of 1,000 people I would recognise him.”

Mr Stewart, who struggles to get out of his flat, has a catalogue of medical problems – affecting his heart, lungs, liver and hip.

The 63-year-old said he hopes by speaking up he can stop other people becoming a victim of the ruse, which police are warning residents about.

He said: “We were brought up as kids to help people and at first I really thought he was a neighbour who needed help.

“Then, a week later, he said he needed more money, so I said ‘give me the £20 from last time’ and he just ran off again.”

A Lancashire police spokesman said:“We are aware of this type of offence going on in the area.

“If people have fallen victim to this kind of offence we would urge them to contact police directly on 101.”

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