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Vulnerable residents have been warned to stay on their guard after a woman was left shaken by an elaborate scam attempt.

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The attempted swindle took place last Tuesday afternoon in Elfort Road, Highbury, when a man in workman-like attire knocked on a 67-year-old woman’s door claiming a sewage pipe had burst at a neighbour’s address and that he was concerned that one of her pipes may also be fractured.

The victim said: “He was very convincing with his story and consequently I let him come into the house without seeing his ID.”

The man entered the house and managed to release water onto the kitchen floor without the woman noticing and told her that the house would be covered in raw sewage unless they acted immediately.

The culprit said his company would supply pumps at the house free but that he would need to take a deposit.

The woman said: “I said I’m not handing over a penny until I see more identification and when he couldn’t I asked him to leave my house which he eventually did.

“I think I was just fortunate on this occasion but I could have easily have fallen for the scam.”

She added: “One thing I’ll say for people in my situation. No matter how urgent the matter is, it doesn’t take long for a person to show you ID.”

Sgt Rob O’Connor from the West Highbury Safer Neighbourhood Team said that Islington Police weren’t able to investigate as no crime had been committed, but the incident and suspect description has been recorded in the event of any similar scams arising.

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