Registered Charity Eng: No: 1066686
Police re-issue warnings about bogus callers on the Isle of Wight
Detectives investigating bogus callers are reinforcing their advice to home owners on the Isle of Wight.
The reminder comes after an 89-year-old man from the Sandown area, was deceived into handing over a large sum of money after he was targeted by a pair of conmen in a distraction scam.
The victim was first approached on Sunday, September 29 by a man posing as a tradesman, in this case offering painting and decorating services and later on Saturday, October 5 by a man, believed to be an accomplice, posing as an official from Trading Standards.
The first suspect was described as
· white man
· About 5ft 7ins tall
· Long straight nose
· Brown hair
· In his 30’s
The second suspect was described as:
· White man
· About 5ft 9ins - 6ft tall
· Dark hair
· Wearing blue Trousers and Blue Jumper – quite smartly dressed
Investigating officer, Detective Sergeant John Walton from the Newport DCID said: “This is an utterly despicable crime against a vulnerable person.
I am urging home owners to always check the credentials of unknown callers and call the company they claim to be from by using the telephone number in the phone book or on a bill.
If in doubt shut them out.
As well as contacting police immediately if you receive a suspicious caller or see any suspicious vehicles in the area. Please remember to take a note of the vehicles details and registration number.”
Officers are reminding residents of some simple crime prevention advice to avoid becoming a victim of this sort of crime:
Bogus callers (distraction burglars, cold callers) use tricks to get into your home, such as pretending to be from water, gas or electricity companies. Remember, none of these companies should ever need to access your home, even in an emergency
Never open the door to someone you don’t recognise or are not expecting. However if you feel the need to open the door remember to:
* Ensure the back door is locked before answering the front.
* Put on the door chain or bar
* Ask the caller for their identification
* Close and lock your door and call the company they claim to be from by using the
telephone number in the phone book or on a bill.
Remember - if a caller is genuine they will understand your concerns
You can arrange to have a password set up with your utility company. When a representative calls they will be expected to repeat this confidential word to you.
If you think you need to have work done to your home, ask for quotes from two or three reputable companies. Check the council’s Buy With Confidence list for a list of reputable companies.
NEVER pay upfront to cold callers as it is likely you will not see them, or your money, again.
Consumer legislation requires cold callers to give consumers a ‘Cancellation Notice’ giving them a seven day cooling-off period during which they can cancel the contract.
Trading Standards runs a trader approval scheme, where local traders are vetted for compliance with consumer legislation; for information contact Trading Standards on 01983 823370 or www.iwight.com/bwc
If you have any concerns about someone who has called at your door, call police immediately. If you have a chance try to note what they look like and any vehicle they have with them, so police can investigate.
Please be vigilant if you have elderly or vulnerable neighbours and report your concerns to the police on 101 or the Trading Standards Service hotline on 01983 823371.
Julie Woodhouse, principal officer for the Isle of Wight Council’s trading standards service, said: “All our trading standards officers carry photo ID and you should always ask to see someone’s identification if they claim to be from an organisation. The trading standards service would also never undertake this type of ‘sting’ operation as described.
“We are committed, with the support of the police, to protecting Island residents and will take enforcement action, including prosecution, against any rogue traders.”
Anyone with information about the incident is asked to contact Det Sgt Walton at Newport DCID by phoning 101. Mini-Com users can call the police on 18001 101. Information can be given anonymously by calling the Crimestoppers charity on 0800 555 111.
This article has been placed on line following a request from Hampshire & Isle of Wight Constabulary
IOWNW are not responsible for statements contained within.
Copyright IOW Neighbourhood Watch 2016