The advice comes after a bogus official struck at the home of an elderly woman in Drayton Lane, Tamworth, at around 10.40 this morning (6 August).
A man approached the woman’s home and claimed he worked for the Water Board and needed money for a burst pipe. The woman handed over cash and the man left the property.
Anyone with any information, or who saw suspicious persons and/or vehicles in the area prior to the incident should contact Staffordshire Police on 101 quoting incident number 219 of August 6. Alternatively, they can contact independent crime-fighting charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or via their anonymous online report form at www.crimestoppers-uk.org Details cannot be traced and they will not go to court.
Residents are encouraged to contact police if and every time they have suspicions about any caller at their door.
Even if someone claims to be an official – and that includes police officers and council representatives – people must get their ID checked out.
Residents are asked to remain vigilant at all times and to follow this advice:
- Never trust anyone calling at the door without a prior appointment. Should you receive such a call leave the door locked. The caller will hear you through the door when you ask them who they are. If they state they are from a utilities company ask for your account number, they should have this, if not, do not let them in and tell them to leave, and that you are calling the Police
- Always ask for ID, and check it
- Do not allow anyone to carry work out on your home, or sell you anything when they cold call at the door. If you do require work to be done, INSTIGATE IT YOURSELF, by phoning three companies asking for like for like quotes. Then decide
- Do not keep large amounts of cash in your home, you may think that you have the perfect hiding place, but these criminals will find it
- Please remember there is no such company as the Water Board, Gas Board or Electric Board. These words are only used by offenders
- Always report any suspicious behaviour to the police, if you think it is suspicious, it probably is
- Keep your doors locked even when you are home
Residents should also follow the stop, chain and check rule when people call at the door:
- STOP – If you are not expecting anybody and they don’t have an appointment – don’t let them in
- CHAIN – Use your door chain or bar before opening the door
- CHECK – Ask to see ID and double-check this.
People can also use the Nominate a Neighbour (NAN) scheme that diverts cold callers to a neighbour who will check caller’s identity. NAN packs are available from local police stations.