Be vigilant against bogus callers

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POLICE have again repeated a message for residents to be aware of bogus callers.

The appeal comes after two men robbed a house in the Shore Road area of Newtownabbey on Tuesday, December 4.

A man, saying he was from the “Water Board” gained entry to the house around 3pm and while he and the householder where in the kitchen another man entered the house and stole money from an upstairs room.

Police have appealed for anyone who may have information about the incident to contact them on 0845 600 8000.

Local officers have also advised householders not to let strangers into their home without verifying who they are first.

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 always advisable to be cautious of unexpected callers.

“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 Quick Check on 0800 013 22 90 and the person on the other end will check the caller at your door is legitimate. The service is free and operates 24 hours a day.

“Genuine callers will not mind waiting until you have checked that they are who they say they are.”

She added: “Be aware 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 some 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.

“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.”