Oak Flats great-grandmother Gladys Edwards, 86, thought she was getting her solar panels fixed after a knock at her door two weeks ago.
Instead, she had her purse stolen and her bank accounts drained in what police are alleging is the work of a travelling conman.
Darren Warrilow, 30, from Wilberforce is accused of posing as a tradesman, allegedly telling Ms Edwards, "I'm here about your solar, I work for the government".
Having invited Mr Warrilow into her lounge room after allegedly being told her panels were "at risk of exploding", Ms Edwards claimed to 9News, "He said, I'll need $380 dollars to put the fuse in."
She declined the request.
As she called her grandson for help, Mr Warrilow allegedly made his move - he is accused of grabbing her purse and running out the front door.
But police say Warrilow's work wasn't done yet.
Days later, Ms Edwards received a call from a man claiming to be from the Commonwealth Bank.
"He said my account was at risk of being attacked and I needed to provide my pin number, I should have known better," Ms Edwards said.
Mr Warrilow allegedly then made three withdrawals at branches across Illawarra, totalling $4000.
He was arrested after a traffic stop in Gwynneville yesterday afternoon, and charged by police.
Inspector James Dark from Lake Illawarra police confirmed his charges were upgraded to one count of aggravated break and enter as well as three counts of fraud.
Applying for bail at Wollongong court, it was revealed Warrilow has criminal convictions for similar offences in four separate states.
Even still he pleaded with the magistrate for release, telling his lawyer he has "terminal liver cancer and only had 18 months left to live".
Insp Dark told media today, "Our message is if you don't know the person, don't let them in your house".
A 38-year-old man was also interviewed by police, but is yet to be charged.
As for Ms Edwards, she's determined to stay positive in a world much different to the one she grew up in.
"I can't change, but I can't trust as much," she said.
Warrilow was refused bail.
Source: 9News https://www.9news.com.au/national/alleged-fake-tradie-conman-arrested-wollongong/b2019a32-3c58-4228-a1c0-c86001b4691f