SHREWD bank staff have thwarted attempts by rogue traders to con two elderly women out of thousands of pounds.

Bank staff became suspicious after a woman in her 80s attempted to draw £5,000 from her local branch to pay workmen, who had initially come around to cut her lawn.

After the pensioner, from Kennart Road, Creekmoor, Poole, explained the money was for workmen who'd told her she needed to pay cash to have her lawn paved, the bank stopped the transaction and notified police.

The following day, between 9-11am, at an address in Emerson Road, Poole, another woman, in her 70s, was visited by a man who told her she needed to pay him £4,000 cash to fix her roof. After attending her local branch staff persuaded her not to make the withdrawal.

Dorset Police are now treating both incidents as suspected fraud and have launched investigations.

They're also appealing for witnesses and anyone with information to come forward.

Detective Constable Lee Emery, of Bournemouth and Poole CID , said: “It was fortunate that the staff at both banks were alert and the women did not lose any money.

“We do not have any descriptions or any more information, therefore, I am appealing to anyone who may have been a victim of a similar crime or has any concerns about suspicious activity in their area to come forward.”

Neither victim had arranged for work to be carried out on their properties nor had any work carried out.

Det Con Emery said: “I am keen to speak to anyone who has information that can assist with the investigation.

“I urge all residents to not pay for building work that has not been completed and if paying with cash, to ask to see a written invoice.

“Always check the identity of the person requesting payment before handing over any money and obtain a receipt.”

The woman in her eighties was approached at her Kennart Road address around 1pm on Friday, August 1. The Emerson Road incident happened on Saturday, August 2.