09 January 2018
Officers in Bournemouth are asking residents to remain vigilant and report suspicious activity to police following reports of a bogus doorstep caller.
The caller has reportedly targeted houses over the last few weeks, but police only received reports on Monday 8 January 2018.
The male offender, believed to be aged in his 20s, has attended a number of addresses in the West Howe area asking for money. He has claimed that he needs the money for electricity.
Police Constable Steve Toms, of Bournemouth police, said: "We understand that some people have unfortunately fallen for this scam and I am appealing to anyone who knows the identity of the offender, or has experienced such a scam, to please come forward.
"Bogus callers usually target elderly victims who live by themselves and I'd urge everyone to remain vigilant and help reduce the chance that the people you care about and your elderly neighbours are not subject to this type of crime.
“Do not buy, sell or sign up to any work on the doorstep or hand over any money to anyone claiming to be from a charity or similar without relevant identification. If you are suspicious of the caller’s intentions, tell them to go away and call a family member or neighbour and inform the police. If they won’t leave, then call 999."
Members of the public should consider the following advice when answering the door:
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 identification. 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, as this could be an accomplice around the corner – especially if it is a mobile number. A genuine caller will be happy to wait while you do this.
Anyone with information is asked to contact Dorset Police at www.dorset.police.uk, via email firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 101, quoting occurrence number 55180003833. Alternatively contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111 or via www.crimestoppers-uk.org.
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