Police warn about bogus callers

POLICE have warned householders to watch out for bogus callers.

And they have reminded residents to exercise caution when dealing with unexpected calls at the front door.

“It is worth remembering that bogus callers will use all sorts of tactics to gain access to a victim’s home,” said a police spokesman. “Genuine callers will not mind being challenged about the authenticity of their identity.”

They would urge everyone to follow the advice below when dealing with unexpected visitors:

Before answering the front door, ensure the back door is locked.

Think before opening the door - use a chain and spy hole or look out of the window to recognise them.

Ask callers for proof of identity. Genuine tradesmen should carry a photographic identification card. Some bogus callers will offer a glimpse of a card. Check this carefully and telephone QuickCheck on 0800 013 22 90 to verify the caller is from the company they claim to be. This call is free and will be answered by a trained operator who will take the details of the company which the caller claims to represent and then contact that organisation to determine if the caller is genuine. If there is anything suspicious the operator will contact police directly.

Beware of callers who attempt a distraction by claiming that they have seen something untoward in a rear garden or somewhere that may encourage the resident to leave the house.

Anyone who is not convinced of the identity of the caller, don’t let them in. Ask the caller to come back later and arrange for a friend, relative or neighbour to be present on their return.

Anyone who has elderly relatives, neighbours, or provide care for anyone who may fall prey to this type of crime, make them aware of these messages.

Police are always keen to hear from anyone who may have been approached at their home by a caller purporting to be from a legitimate company, or by anyone using an excuse to enter a home. Police would also advise householders to refrain from keeping large sums of money in the house.

To obtain QuickCheck leaflets and stickers, or get advice on crime prevention and how to make your home safer, contact the local crime prevention officer on 0845 600 8000.