Bogus caller warning as summer approaches

TAYSIDE Police has issued a warning to Angus householders about bogus callers offering services in the run-up to summer.

Bogus callers will offer gardening work or a multitude of home improvements and 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.

This type of crime has a serious impact on the elderly and most vulnerable members of the community and residents are being warned to be suspicious of anyone arriving at their door unannounced or unfamiliar faces in their neighbourhood and to take a few simple precautions.

Doors should be secured, even when at home, door chains should be used and strangers kept outside until their identity can be confirmed. If anyone claims to represent a business, authority or agency householders should demand to see identification. Genuine tradespeople or company representatives will not be offended and will be happy to provide genuine identification.

If suspicions remains, residents should close the door and check with the company the caller claims to represent, contacting the number listed in the phone directory or Yellow Pages rather than any number provided by the person on the doorstep.

Claire Taylor, divisional crime prevention officer, also urged people to look after their neighbours.

She said: “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 a bogus caller at their door or have maybe even employed the services of one, 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 also actively targeting doorstep crime by creating ‘No Cold Calling’ areas. Anyone interested in setting up a Neighbourhood Watch or who requires further information can find out more by contacting their local community officer.

Anyone with information about bogus callers can contact Tayside Police on 0300 111 2222 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.