AN elderly woman has been conned out of almost £5,000 after she was targeted by fraudsters who ripped apart her roof.

The woman, who lives on Canvey, paid roofers £4,800 for her fascias and other work to her roof.

After removing some parts of her roof, they left, promising to return to complete the work.

However, they never returned, leaving the woman with a large hole in her roof.

She called the police, who, concerned by forecast of rain on Tuesday night, contacted roofer Eddy Stacey to weatherproof the house.

Mr Stacey, 63, an experienced roofer of 48 years, who runs Island Flat Roofing with his sons Richard and Darren, arrived at 9pm on Monday night.

He said: “I have never had a phone call from the police like that.

“I don’t think many other companies would have done it and gone on the roof of a two-storey house in thunder and lightning but if it had rained it would have ruined all her bedrooms as they had left a massive hole in her roof.

“It would have been dangerous with the electrics in the house too if it had rained.

“We just put some felt over the hole on Monday night to stop the water coming in and it worked - not a single drop got in.”

Mr Stacey returned yesterday to finish the job.

He hasn’t charged the woman for coming out on the Monday and is only charging her costs for the rest of the repairs on Tuesday, which it took him most of the day to carry out due to the extent of the damage.

He added: “They charged the lady £4,800 to do her fascias and stuff.

“But they got up there, smashed the roof to pieces, and then left.

“It seems to be happening a lot at the moment.

“I just don’t know how they do it.

“Just say ‘no’ and shut the door if they knock on your door.”

No description of the men involved was available.

Several other islanders also said they had been approached by the approached by the men.

A spokesman from Essex Police said: "We are investigating reports of fraud after receiving a call at around 6.50pm on Tuesday, August 7.

"We received reports that suspects knocked at a property in Furtherwick Road, and offered to clean a woman's home.

"The victim, aged in her 60s, handing over a four-figure sum of cash and the suspects entered the property for a short period before leaving the scene.

"They also caused criminal damage to a wall in the building.

"We would urge anyone with information to call Basildon police station on 101 quoting crime reference 42/113696/18 or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111."

The force recommends that you do not pay in full before the work is carried out.

It also encourages people to get several quotes before agreeing for any work to be done.

For more information visit or call 08454 040506.

You can report rogue traders to police on 101 or call Trading Standards on 08454 040506