Woman escapes bogus caller

A BANBRIDGE woman had a lucky escape recently when a stranger came to her house and asked where she kept her money.

The Newry Road resident was approached by the male who had a sum of cash in his hand. He said he believed it was hers and asked her where she kept cash in her house.

When the woman told him she did not keep cash in her home he left.

A similar incident took place in Portadown on December 20. The man in that case was described as being approximately 50 years old, around 5ft 10in tall, of large build with short, grey curly hair. He spoke with a Southern accent and was wearing a sports jacket.

Police have since warned householders to be on the lookout for bogus callers to their homes.

A spokeswoman said, “Police are advising householders not to let strangers into their homes and to inform police immediately of any incidents of this nature on 0845 600 8000.

“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. You should remember that any genuine caller will not mind being challenged about the authenticity of their identity.

“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, 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.

“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.”

The non-emergency police number is 0845 600 8000. In an emergency dial 999.