SEVERAL men have tried conning pensioners out of thousands of pounds in three separate incidents, leading detectives to warn people to be vigilant.

There have been three occasions over the last fortnight where people have been approached by the men who have offered to carry out roof repairs, gardening and other maintenance jobs.

Though there are some differences between the incidents, detectives believe they are linked.

Last Thursday, an 88-year-old man living on Upper Sheffield Road, Barnsley, was visited by a man who offered to carry out a number of maintenance jobs for £14 a day. After the occupant agreed, three other men turned up at his home to carry out the work, which they then said would cost £5,000. They reduced the price to £1,500, asking the occupant to go to the bank to withdraw the cash.

But bank staff alerted the police before any money could be handed over.

The first man who attended the house is described as white, in his mid-40s, well-built, with short, ginger hair, blue eyes and about 5ft 7ins tall. He spoke with an Irish accent and was wearing a dark suit, brown slip-on shoes and was carrying a black briefcase.

The other three men are all described as white, aged between 20 and 30, about 5ft 10ins tall and of average builds with short, dark hair. They are all said to have been wearing dark clothing and spoke with Irish accents.

They are said to have arrived and left the area in a white van with roof racks.

The following day, a man living on Sunderland Terrace, Barnsley, reported receiving a call from a man offering to carry out some maintenance work. After refusing, three other men then arrived at the address, offering to do some gardening work.

They left when the occupant said he was going to call the police. Three of the men spoke with Irish accents.

There was also another incident on January 15, where four men approached the home of an 88-year-old man in Bleak Avenue, Shafton, and claimed he needed some work doing to his roof.

They took a £500 deposit after falsely claiming they had just completed some work on a neighbour’s roof, before asking the man to go to the bank to withdraw a further £2,500.

The bank notified the police before any more money could be handed over. One of the men is described as white, clean-shaven, about 5ft 7ins tall, in his 30s, with short, straight black hair. A second man is described as black, 5ft 10ins tall, of a stocky build, aged around 40, with a short, thick beard. The other two men are described as white. All four men are said to have arrived at the address in a white van with roof bars.

Investigating officer Claire Moss, warned people to be on their guard.

She said: “While there are some differences in these incidents, we are treating them as linked and would ask residents to report any similar incidents to us.

“If anyone saw or heard anything suspicious at the dates and times mentioned, or saw the van in the area, please get in touch with us as information you have could prove useful in identifying the offenders.

“I’d also like to ask residents to be vigilant and be mindful of anyone offering to do work who does not seem genuine. If you have elderly friends of relatives who you think could be vulnerable to incidents like this, please talk to them and ask them to call us to report anything suspicious.”

Call 101 quoting incident number 475 of January 25.