SCHENECTADY, N.Y. (NEWS10) – Schenectady Police said they are looking for a man who allegedly swindled an elderly woman out of her money by saying that he was going to fix part of her damaged property.
“They might tell them, okay I’m going to fix your sidewalks, and I’ll do it for maybe fifty dollars. But I need to come in and we need to discuss this,” said Karen Hilton, RN.
That’s exactly what Schenectady Police said an elderly woman told them about a man who came to her home in the Woodlawn neighborhood. The man said he could fix Hilton’s broken sidewalk.
“She invited him in and gave him some money to do that work. Sometime when he was in the residence, he was able to take a substantial amount of cash,” said Sgt. Matthew Dearing of Schenectady Police.
Police said after the man got what he wanted, he left the woman’s home and hasn’t been heard from or seen since. Police said the woman’s sidewalk has not been fixed.
“Why they target the elderly is because usually they know it’s someone probably living alone or they have some issue with their memory,” said Hilton.
Karen Hilton, who is a Registered Nurse, said that the children of the elderly are their biggest asset to protecting them from these types of fraud. It’s pretty easy for her to keep an eye on her parents because they live right across the street.
“Elderly people, they have more trust in people than younger people,” said Woodlawn neighborhood resident Alphonso Hilton.
Alphonso Hilton, who is in his 80’s, said he’s been doing his own craft and worked for majority of his adult life. He said that elderly people are taken advantage of because their world view comes from a more trusting era of society. In this case, Hilton advised that people of all ages be watchful for what he calls “fly by night” contractors.
“We’ll put in three extra windows and give you an extra one for free and we’ll do this and do that and we’ll do the other thing but we just have to give us a certain amount of money,” said Hilton.
“Do some background checks on them. If they have references, names, and numbers things like that so you can check the quality of their work,” said Sgt. Dearing.
Police said they are looking for a white male in his 30’s with a scruffy beard.
If you have any information as to who the schemer might be, call the Schenectady Police.