A WARNING for members of the public to be aware of bogus callers operating in the local area has been issued by Tayside Police.
Claire Taylor, divisional crime prevention officer, explained: “In the lead up to summer, bogus callers will offer many services including gardening work or a multitude of home improvements to your property.
“They can charge over-inflated prices for very little work, normally asking for the money in advance to purchase materials or offering what sounds like a cheap quote only to increase this by an exorbitant amount near completion.”
She added that bogus caller crime has a very serious impact on the community, particularly on the elderly and most vulnerable. In particular, residents should be suspicious of anyone arriving unannounced at their door or even unfamiliar faces appearing in their neighbourhood. They should ensure that doors are secure, even when at home and to use a door chain.
They should not let anyone in until they are certain of who they are, or who they claim to represent.
With regard to anyone claiming to represent a business, authority or agency, householders should demand to see their identification. Bona fide tradespeople, or company representatives will not be offended and will be happy to provide genuine identification.
Even then if suspicions remain, residents should close the door and check with the company the caller claims to represent. Don’t take the number from the person on the doorstep, but instead check the phone directory or Yellow Pages.
Claire went on: “If you see any suspicious persons in your area or callers at your door, note as accurate a description of them and their vehicles and direction of travel if known. If you see or hear of any of your neighbours or friends who’ve had the bogus caller at their door or have maybe even employed the services of the bogus caller, encourage them to do something about it.
“Don’t let them ‘con’ you or anyone else into carrying out unnecessary work at over-inflated prices. Use your money to pay for a genuine tradesperson carrying out necessary genuine work.”
Angus Neighbourhood Watch is actively targeting doorstep crime by creating ‘No Cold Calling’ areas. If you are interested in setting up a Neighbourhood Watch or require further information contact your local community officer.
If you have any information in relation to these incidents or anything which you think may be useful to the police telephone 0300 111 2222 or you can contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.