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THEFT - BOGUS WORKMEN

Alert message sent 04/06/2019 09:27:00

Information sent on behalf of Neighbourhood Watch Scotland


About 11am on Monday 3rd June 2019, a male attended at the front door of an address in Parkhall Terrace, Clydebank. The female househoulder was home alone and on answering the door, the male stated he was carrying out works on sewers nearby.

The householder allowed the male access to her home address and left him unattended momentarily where it was believed the male was in the bathroom flushing the toilet and running the taps.

The male left the property and the female thereafter noticed a sum of money was missing from her purse and money tin. She thereafter contacted police who attended.

Enquiries were made with Scottish Water who confirmed they were NOT carrying out works nearby.

Police Scotland offer the following advice in relation to doorstep crime;

Keep Safe from Doorstep Crime and Bogus Callers

What is doorstep crime?

From bogus callers to rogue traders, doorstep criminals are cunning, creative, and often very convincing.

Anyone can be fooled as these people are professional con artists. However, the over 60s are often specifically targeted.

What types of doorstep criminals are there?

There are two main types:

Bogus callers try to get into your home or obtain personal details by pretending to be someone they’re not, including council staff, charity collectors, meter readers and police officers. In reality, they are criminals trying to steal money and valuables.

Rogue traders usually cold-call, claiming to be workers offering to sell services, make repairs or carry out work on your house, garden or driveway. In reality they charge inflated prices for shoddy or unnecessary work.

We DO NOT recommend dealing with cold-callers for property maintenance and home repairs.

How can I spot a Rogue Trader?

  • They may tell you the work is urgent and needs to be carried out immediately.
  • They will normally ask for payment there and then and may offer to come to the bank with you if you don’t have the cash at hand.

How can I protect myself from doorstep crime?

  • Be on guard if someone turns up unexpectedly.
  • Keep front and back doors locked.
  • Use the door vieweror nearby window when answering the door.
  • Fit a door chain or bar – use it and keep it on when talking to callers at the door.
  • If you’re not sure, don’t answer the door.
  • Don’t feel embarrassed - genuine callers expect you to be careful.
  • Only let callers in if they have an appointment and you have confirmed they are genuine.
  • Always ask for identification badges of anyone you answer the door to, but don’t rely on them. Identity cards can be faked – phone the company to verify their identity.
  • Some companies offer a password system. Ask your utility providers if this can be used and if you have a password with a company make sure the caller uses it.
  • Never let people try to persuade you to let them into your home even if they are asking for help – they may not be genuine. If someone is persistent, ask them to call at another time and arrange for a friend or family member to be with you.
  • Never agree to pay for goods or give money to strangers who arrive at your door.
  • Don’t keep large amounts of money in your home.
  • Remember, it’s your home. There’s no reason why anyone should ever enter your home against your wishes.
  • If you’re not sure, don’t answer the door.
What action should I take if someone visits me and I think they’re a doorstep criminal?
  • Keep the caller out of your house, ask them to leave and call the police immediately by dialling 101.
  • You might also want to try to alert a family member or attract a neighbour’s attention but you should always contact the police first by dialling 101. The police would much rather attend a false alarm than have someone fall victim to a doorstep criminal.
  • If the person refuses to leave your door, or you feel threatened or scared - Call 999 and ask for the police.
  • Note down their description and the description of any vehicle they’re using, including make, model, colour and registration number.

For more information, see;

https://www.scotland.police.uk/keep-safe/personal-safety/doorstep-crime-and-bogus-callers
Message sent by
Tracy Melvin (Police, Constable, Dumbarton Police Office)

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