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 withdraw £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 9am and 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.

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.”

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