‘Think before you open the door’

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POLICE have issued a reminder to local householders to exercise caution when dealing with unexpected callers.

“It is worth remembering that bogus callers will use all sorts of tactics to gain access to a victim’s home,” a PSNI spokesperson said. “Everyone should follow this advice when dealing with unexpected visitors:

• Before answering your front 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 the caller.

• Ask callers for proof of identity. Genuine callers will not mind being challenged about the authenticity of their identity. Genuine tradesmen should carry a photographic identification card. Some bogus callers will offer you a glimpse of a card and hope you’ll be fooled. Check this carefully and freephone QuickCheck on 0800 013 22 90 to verify the caller is from the company they claim to be.

• 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.

The spokesperson added: “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.”

For more information about home and personal security, contact the Crime Prevention Officer at Newtownabbey Station on 0845 600 8000.