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Dublin: 12 °C Friday 22 February, 2019
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Tips to combat bogus callers who prey on the old and vulnerable

Before answering your door, ensure your back door is locked.

Image: Bogus callers via Shutterstock

THE POLICE SERVICE in Northern Ireland have issued a number of useful tips for homeowners dealing with strangers at their doors.

The advice comes after three bogus callers were reported in the Clonard Street area of West Belfast earlier today.

At around 11.30am, a man called at homes in the area and said he was from the Water Board and needed to gain entry to the properties. When challenged by homeowners, the teen, accompanied my two others, ran towards the Fall Road.

Police warned householders not to let strangers into their homes and to contact police immediately of any incidents of this nature. The PSNI added:

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 worth remembering that bogus callers will use all sorts of tactics to gain access to a victim’s home.

Advice for people 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 the callers.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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 immediately.

Read: Homeowners warned over bogus household charge collectors>

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Amy Croffey

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