Want to help protect yourself from bogus callers?
Merton Partnership Against Crime (MPAC) WANTS YOU to join with the Council and the police to help fight crime in the borough.
Bogus callers come in all shapes and sizes. They will often pretend to be on official business from a respectable company i.e. utility companies or the council. They may claim to be tradesmen or workmen calling to make urgent repairs. They could pretend to need to use your phone or ask for a glass of water. They may even attempt to distract you by claiming that they have seen something in your back garden or somewhere that may encourage you to leave your house – they may have an accomplice waiting. Treat every stranger with caution.
Caroline Ellis, MPAC Assistant Officer, suggests these simple, practical steps be followed by local residents to help the community protect themselves from distraction burglary:
1. Think before you open the door – use your chain and spy hole or look out of the window to see if you recognise them.
2. Ask all callers for proof of identity. Genuine tradesmen should carry an identification card with their photograph on. Check this carefully. If you are unsure, telephone the company the caller claims to represent.
3. The Utilities now offer a password identification system. Any caller from one of these companies should be able to give a pre-arranged password as additional proof of identity.
4. If you are selling your home, arrange with the estate agent to phone you about everyone who makes an appointment to see your home, and to come with every potential buyer.
5. If someone comes to your door to try to sell you something, don’t invite them in. Even if you’re interested in what they are selling. Ask for a brochure or a business card and say that you need to talk to someone else. Never hand over any money at the door.
6. 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 or ask the caller to contact this person.
“If you follow this advice you can help deny bogus callers the opportunity and keep your house safe and sound,” Caroline Ellis said.
Further information on crime prevention can be found at http://www.met.police.uk/crimeprevention
Or by contacting the Crime Prevention Unit at Wimbledon Police station on
020 8649 3249