The family of a great-grandmother who passed away shortly after a bogus workman tricked his way into her home and stole her savings welcomed a campaign launched today to keep vulnerable people safe from cold-calling rogues.
Eileen Luff, 89, answered her door to the thief who told her he could pave her driveway,
At the time of the incident in 2010 she was recovering from a broken hip and was using her Zimmer frame to support her.
Eileen agreed to have the work done and let the thief into her terraced home in Deepdale, so he could “check the back garden.”
But when the frail pensioner, who has 13 great grandchildren, went to answer a phone call from her nurse, he sneaked upstairs, rifled through her bedroom, and stole a tin containing her savings.
Eileen, who worked as a cook at County Hall before retiring, passed away six months later having never gotten over the shock.
Her son Arthur from Fulwood, Preston - where Trading Standards will this week launch a No Cold Calling Zone - said: “I think all doorstep cold calling should be banned and people should be prosecuted for it.
“Trading Standard’s introduction of No Cold Calling zones in areas where older people, like my mum lived is a great idea and we fully support it.
“More action needs to be taken against doorstep criminals, we would welcome any measures that help prevent other people becoming victims like my mum.”
Eileen’s sad story is among a number of shocking cases that have prompted authorities to take action against doorstep sellers preying on vulnerable residents.
Since her death, Lancashire Trading Standards has launched 124 No Cold Calling Zones in a bid to protect 7,000 homes.
County Coun Albert Atkinson, is encouraging people to use the county council’s Safe Trader scheme to find genuine reputable traders.
He said: “Rogue traders and unscrupulous cold callers often target older and vulnerable people, causing massive heartache and financial loss.
“We want to make sure that people don’t open their doors to cold callers.”
For more information, visit the website at www.safetrader.org.uk or call Help Direct on 0303 333 1111.