Warning on bogus callers
Police in Londonderry are warning people to be vigilant following a report of a bogus caller at the home of elderly people, aged in their seventies, on Thursday last, September 13.
Shortly after 2.30pm a man called at a house in Francis Street and when the older lady answered the door the man pushed past her and said he was there to collect furniture. Fortunately the lady’s son was in the house at the time and confronted the unknown male and insisted he leave. After a short time the man eventually left the house and drove off in a white transit-like van. The elderly couple who live in the house were not injured but badly shaken by the incident.
The man is described as well dressed, aged in his late thirties or early forties, around 6’ 4” tall, with red hair. He was wearing a navy cardigan, blue shirt and tie and dark trousers. He spoke with a distinct southern accent.
Police are asking anyone who may have seen the man in the area to contact Police at Strand Road station on 0845 600 8000.
Neighbourhood Sergeant Sam Young said neighbours, family and friends must look out for older people.
“Bogus callers depend on the good nature and good will of others. They tend to target the more vulnerable members of our society and in particular, older members of our community. It is always advisable to be cautious of unexpected callers. It is worth remembering that bogus callers will use all sorts of tactics to gain access to a victim’s home. I am urging householders, particularly elderly people, not to admit strangers to their home and if they believe a caller is suspicious, they must call Police immediately,” he said.
Police urge everyone to follow this advice when dealing with unexpected visitors:
l Before answering your door, ensure your back door is locked.
l Think before you open the door - use your chain and spy hole or look out of the window to see if you recognise them.
l If you have any doubts about anyone calling to your door 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.
l Ask callers for proof of identity. Genuine tradesmen should carry a photographic identification card. Check this carefully. If you are unsure, telephone QuickCheck on 0800 013 22 90.
l Beware of callers who attempt to distract you by claiming that they have seen something untoward in your rear garden or somewhere that may encourage you to leave your house - they may have an accomplice who is waiting to act upon this distraction.
l Police would also urge householders to follow some common sense crime prevention measures. Reassessing your crime prevention routine is an important first step. Ensure your windows are locked as well as doors and make use of security lighting and alarms.
l Police would also advise householders to refrain from keeping large sums of money in the house.
Neighbours can also play a part in helping protect the more vulnerable in their community. Residents should try to look out for one another and report ALL suspicious activity to the Police immediately. The non emergency police number is 0845 600 8000. In an emergency dial 999.
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Weather for Londonderry
Tuesday 21 May 2013
Temperature: 8 C to 14 C
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