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Thursday, 21 August 2014

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Cumbria police urge people to be wary of cold callers

Cumbria police are urging residents to be wary of cold callers claiming to do building work.

As spring starts police are warning people of workmen cold calling at home addresses, offering to complete building work without any prior quote and for cash. Often these people target elderly or vulnerable people.

Sgt Richard Farnworth, Community Safety Officer, said: “With spring approaching I would remind people to be vigilant about anyone calling without a prior appointment. Always ask for identification, call the company to check the person is who they say they are, and if in doubt, just close the door and contact the police.

“While Cumbria is a very safe place to live, we want to ensure we keep it that way and it is therefore important to be vigilant for bogus callers, as not all burglars break into homes.”

Follow these simple rules to keep yourself safe:

Always lock your doors, front and back, day and night. This will prevent someone sneaking in the back door if a bogus caller keeps you talking at the front.

If you have a door chain, put it on before you open the door to an unexpected caller, and keep it on while you are talking to them. If you don’t have a door chain, open a small window instead.

Ask callers who you don’t know for proof of their identity. Genuine callers should have an identification card with their photograph on, and will not mind handing it over to you and waiting while you close the door and check the details.

Telephone the company they say they are from, but never use a number shown on the card or provided by the caller.

If you are in any doubt, keep them out, and tell them they will have to make an appointment. You can then arrange to have someone with you if they keep the appointment.

Cumbria Trading Standards have introduced the Nominated Neighbour Scheme which provides additional protection for elderly or vulnerable people who live alone, enabling a neighbour or relative to check a cold caller on their behalf.

Many utility companies 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.

If you are concerned about cold callers, please contact Cumbria Police on 101 and ask to speak to your local Crime Prevention Officer.

For safety advice please visit: http://www.cumbria.police.uk/advice-and-information/security/bogus-callers

Have your say

A couple of young lads claiming to be from Cancer Research called by mine last night around 9pm. Cold calling at that time of night seem suspicious to me. Didn't trust them one bit.

Posted by Ste on 18 March 2014 at 10:16

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