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Dorset police warn against Christmas bogus callers

Dorset Police are urging members of the public to be vigilant against bogus callers this Christmas.

Dorset Police is issuing advice to help reduce anyone’s chances of becoming a victim of a distraction burglary or bogus callers.

  • Ensure that good locks and a door chain are fitted on doors
  • No large amounts of money should be indoors
  • Maintain the house/garden to not attract attention
  • Have regular contact with your neighbours and family members
  • Encourage everyone to adhere to the following advice when a caller is at their door

Consider the following:

LOCKED – Is the back door locked?

STOP - Am I expecting anyone

CHAIN – Put the chain on BEFORE opening the door.

CHECK – Ask for the caller’s ID. Shut the door leaving the caller on the doorstep and phone the number in the phone book NOT the one on the card they give you.

Make sure the people you care about and your elderly neighbours are not vulnerable to bogus callers or distraction burglars this Christmas.

Victims of bogus callers or distraction burglaries are usually elderly and live by themselves.

The offenders will often work in pairs with one person acting as the distraction while the other enters the home.

– Inspector Richard Dixey of Dorset Police

Warning over bogus callers

Householders across our region have been warned against the threat of bogus callers and distraction burglaries.

There has been an increase in criminals pretending to be from a utility company or organisation to trick their way into a home before stealing money and valuables.

The callers may appear to be wearing official uniform but homeowners are being advised to ask for their identification and then call the company.

Ten bogus callers are reported in England every day but the actual number of incidents are expected to be higher.

The Consumer Council for Water has produced a list to protect against bogus callers.

  • Keep your doors locked and windows secure at all times.
  • Ask to see the caller's identification.
  • Check the person is genuine by calling the organisation.
  • It's OK to refuse entry or ask the person to leave at any time- if legitimate, they can ring ahead or reschedule.


Bogus callers: Police statement

Police say two suspicious vehicles were seen in the area and police would like information about them to see if they are linked to the attempt burglary in Tilden Close.

These are a white Toyota Hilux or Mitsubishi L200 with and orange roof bar; and a green and silver Mitsubishi L200.

Chief Inspector Phil Hibben, District Commander, Ashford, said: "Most people who call at your home will be genuine.

"However, occasionally people may turn up unannounced and try to trick their way into your home to steal valuables or money.

"If you have concerns about anyone calling at your home, don’t open the door and ask them to return when you have someone with you. Genuine callers won’t mind."

Are bogus caller incidents linked?

Police investigating bogus callers in Ashford are looking into a second incident.

Two men called at a property in Tilden Close, High Halden, Ashford between 8pm and 8.15pm on February 28.

The men tried to enter the home of an 86-year-old woman claiming they were from the gas board.

However, the resident refused to let them in and they left empty handed.

The first man was white, aged 24-25, slim build, clean shaven with a southern accent - wearing dark clothing including a hooded top and a jacket.

The second was white, aged 21, Slim build with a southern accent - again wearing dark clothing including a hooded top. He was described as having a baby face and piercing eyes.

Bogus caller warning

Police are warning people to be vigilant after bogus callers targeted elderly residents in Kent.

Officers say that two men called at the home of an 88-year-old in Bond Road, Ashford at around 3.30 pm March 1, claiming to be from a water company.

They claimed they needed to check the water supply hadn’t been poisoned and he let them in, after they showed what he thought was ID, which was the size of a credit card.

One of the men went upstairs and the other checked the taps in the kitchen on the ground floor.

When the men had gone the resident noticed cash had been taken from one of his upstairs rooms.

The suspects are described as white men aged around 18. One was 5ft 2in of slight build and cropped brown hair, the other 5ft 6in tall, of slim build with short fair hair and spoke with a Scottish accent.