Police and Trading Standards are asking residents to be vigilent when answering their door – after reports bogus officials are operating in the area.
The warning comes after an incident last week (March 13), where two men claiming to be fire safety officers visited a home in the Swineshead area.
The men were not wearing an official uniform and had no identification but claimed to have been contacted by a member of the public who had reported a fire incident and needed to check in the back garden.
Residents are being urged to be on the lookout for bogus officials like this.
The advice is:
l If you’re not sure who is at your door, don’t open it! Check the identity of the caller by calling the company they are purporting to be from Gas, Electricity, Water, Police ect. Use the telephone numbers listed in your local directory or provided independently by your service provider. Do not use any telephone numbers provided by the caller, they may be bogus!
l Telephone a neighbour or friend nearby to come along and check out the caller before you open the door to them.
l Many utility service providers like gas electricity and water, provide password schemes or hotline numbers for customers to call, to check the identity of callers before opening the door. Speak to your utility provider.
l Don’t keep large quantities of cash at home; put it in the bank or post office where it is safe.
Keep doors locked and windows secure at all times. Always keep your door chain on.
l If somebody asks for your help, needs to make a telephone call, has lost a ball in your garden, needs a drink or request a pen and paper for example, refer them to a younger neighbour or assist them through a closed door. Or call a friend or neighbour to come and assist.
If you have any concerns at all about callers to your house call the police immediately.
Alternatively, to report an incident of doorstep crime or a suspicious trader, please contact Trading Standards via the Citizen’s Advice Service on 08454 04 05 06.