Staffordshire Police has urged people to remain vigilant after an older resident in Stone was targeted by a bogus tradesman.
The woman – whose age has not been revealed by police – was asked to pay £85 to clear the guttering of her house and her neighbour’s. She was informed by the male that her neighbour had agreed this work. The neighbour was not at home at the time. This incident happened on Friday June 24th at approximately 3pm.
The male first approached the female at her house earlier in the day, but she informed him that she would need to think about it. He returned later in the afternoon and, luckily, the female’s daughter was present and told him that no money would be handed over and the work was not wanted. The male then left.
Obviously, her neighbour was unaware of the male’s claims about the work to be carried out.
The male, who drove a white transit van, is described as being about 30 and of a medium build, about 5ft 11in tall with ginger hair. A second male remained in the van.
Staffordshire Police has developed a Beat Bogus Officials section of its website with advice and information.
If anyone has any information about this incident, they are asked to call Staffordshire Police on 101 and quote reference 573 of June 24. Alternatively, you can contact the independent crime-fighting charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or through their Anonymous Online Form at www.crimestoppers-uk.org. No personal details are taken, information cannot be traced or recorded and you will not go to court.
If you suspect a bogus caller is at your door call 999 immediately
Look through your spy hole or window
Don’t let any caller pressure you into making a quick decision
Don’t feel you are being rude or uncaring by saying ‘no’ – your own safety is more important
Check the identity of the caller by calling the company they claim to be from eg. council or gas, electricity, water
Use the telephone numbers listed in your local directory or sent to you by your service provider
Do not use any telephone numbers provided by the caller
‘Water Boards’ no longer exist, it is an obsolete phrase used only by bogus callers
If a builder or tradesman offers to accompany you to the bank so you can withdraw cash to pay them don’t accept. Arrange for someone you know well to take you and pay the tradesman later
Don’t keep large quantities of cash at home; put it in the bank where it is safe
Keep doors locked and windows secure at all times
Ensure that if you do let somebody in to your home, you close the door behind them – distraction burglars often work in teams, where one will distract you whilst others sneak in through the insecure door
If somebody asks for your help (needs to make a telephone call, lost a ball in your garden, needs a drink or pen and paper) refer them to a younger neighbour or assist them through a closed door or call a friend or neighbour to come and help
If you are not sure, don’t open the door!