Be on guard to bogus callers
21 Dec 2016 13:30 PM[View Full Size]
Police are reminding residents in Sunderland and South Tyneside to be aware of bogus callers across the festive season.
A bogus caller is anyone who knocks on the front door and purports to be someone they are not in order to dupe the occupant out of cash - conmen either claim to be carrying out gardening work or claim repairs need carrying out on the property and will take money for shoddy workmanship - or no work at all.
Bogus callers will even use their guise to try and get inside the property - by claiming to be from the council, a utility company, or even the police. Once inside they will look for valuable items to steal and try and distract the occupant either by asking for a drink or to use the toilet.
Officers also want to remind people with elderly or vulnerable family and friends to keep an eye out for them to help make sure they don't fall victim.
Acting Detective Inspector Angus Grassie said: "These conmen prey on people who are elderly and vulnerable and, particularly in the run up to Christmas, they can feel pressured into handing over money or inviting the caller into their house.
"Our advice is never invite someone who cold calls into your home - no matter how genuine they seem, if they are genuine they will not mind waiting while their ID is checked. If they claim you need repairs carrying out on your property contact someone you know and trust to see what they think, never hand over money to someone who just knocks on the door without checking out their credentials. If in any doubt ring police.
"I would also ask people with elderly or vulnerable family, friends and neighbours to make sure they are aware there are people calling door to door who may not be who they claim to be and if they are in any doubt they should ring 999."
Further information about bogus callers is available at the Northumbria Police website www.northumbria.police.uk