Ask everyone who calls at your door for their credentials say police, after a man purporting to be from a housing association struck at a house in Aughnacloy a few weeks ago.
Insp. Keith Jamieson explained how ‘bogus callers’ often pretend to be from official organisations such as water or electricity providers to gain the trust of potential victims.
Speaking about the incident, he said: “The bogus caller called at the address and informed the occupant that he was from a housing association and was there to measure the distance between the oil tank and the fence, as this could represent a fire hazard.
“On this occasion the caller left empty handed as he was challenged.
“Criminals sometimes use a tactic where they pretend to be from a company, for example, water board, electricity generator, gas supplier or cable and satellite TV sales and repair, to trick their way into a house.
“Once inside, they will search for things to steal, usually cash or jewellery and then make their escape without alerting the householder,” he added.
Criminals sometimes use a tactic where they pretend to be from a company, for example, water board, electricity generator, gas supplier or cable and satellite TV sales and repair, to trick their way into a house - PSNI
“Members of the public should think before you open the door - use your chain and spy hole or look out of the window to see if you recognise them, ask callers for proof of identity.
“Genuine tradesmen should carry a photographic identification card. Check this carefully.”
And if unsure, he said: “Telephone Quick Check.”
Some ‘bogus callers’ will attempt to distract their victims by saying they have seen something untoward either in their back garden or somewhere or outside.
This tactic is used to try encourage and encourage people to leave the house - and they may have an accomplice waiting to act on this distraction.
If you are not convinced of the identity of the caller, don’t let them in.
Ask the caller to come back later and arrange for a friend, relative or neighbour to be present on their return.
If you need further advice, police have advised calling 101 and asking for your local crime prevention officer.