Woman narrowly avoids bogus caller

HOUSEHOLDERS are being warned against the dangers of bogus callers, after a Dromara woman closed her door on a stranger claiming to be from the BBC.

The Kane Terrace resident opened her door to a man last Thursday who he asked her if he could come in and said he was conducting a survey for the BBC.

The woman was suspicious of the man’s credibility and refused to allow him into the house. She also contacted the BBC and they confirmed they had no employees in the area.

In the wake of this incident police have warned members of the public to be wary of strangers who may call to their door.

A PSNI spokeswoman said, “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 worth remembering that bogus callers will use all sorts of tactics to gain access to a victim’s home. Genuine callers will not mind being challenged about the authenticity of their identity.”

Police issued some advice for people in 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 and telephone QuickCheck on 0800 013 22 90 to verify the caller is from the company they claim to be. QuickCheck is a free service and operates 24 hours a day.

“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.

“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 have elderly relatives, neighbours, or provide care for anyone who may fall prey to this type of crime, make them aware of these messages. Police are always keen to hear from anyone who may have been approached at their home by a caller purporting to be from a legitimate company, or by anyone using an excuse to enter your home. Police would also advise householders to refrain from keeping large sums of money in the house.”

If you would like advice on crime prevention and how to make your home safer, please contact your local crime prevention officer on 0845 600 8000.