POLICE in Banbridge are reminding householders not to admit strangers to their home and be vigilant of bogus callers.
Officers are advising householders to take steps to ensure they do not fall prey to this type of crime.
Bogus callers depend on the good nature and good will of others.
They tend to target the more vulnerable members of our society and in particular, older members of our community.
It is always advisable to be cautious of unexpected callers. It is worth remembering that bogus callers will use all sorts of tactics to gain access to a victim’s home.
Everyone should follow this advice when dealing with unexpected visitors: Before answering your door, ensure your back door is locked; Think before you open the door - use your chain and spy hole or look out of the window to see if you recognise them.
If you have any doubts about anyone calling to your door 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.
Ask callers for proof of identity. Genuine tradesmen should carry a photographic identification card. Check this carefully. If you are unsure, telephone QuickCheck on 0800 013 22 90.
Beware of callers who attempt to distract you by claiming that they have seen something untoward in your rear garden or somewhere that may encourage you to leave your house - they may have an accomplice who is waiting to act upon this distraction.
Police would also urge householders to follow common sense crime prevention measures. Reassessing your crime prevention routine is an important first step.
Ensure your windows are locked as well as doors and make use of security lighting and alarms.
Police would also advise householders to refrain from keeping large sums of money in the house.
Neighbours can also play a part in helping protect the more vulnerable in their community.
Residents should try to look out for one another and report ALL suspicious activity to the Police immediately. The non-emergency police number is 0845 600 8000. In an emergency dial 999.