Beware of bogus callers as Christmas approaches

SIR, - The determination of the criminal to get into your home and steal your belongings remains as strong as ever, and in my role as head of community safety across this entire policing district, I want to make sure you know how to help prevent yourself from becoming a victim of bogus callers.

A bogus caller is a confidence trickster. He or she will come to your door pretending to be from a gas company or the water service, or even from a government department, and try to make you let them into your home.

While this type of crime is not a daily occurrence, it only needs to happen once, and a house holder can find that money or jewellery or other types of valuables have been taken.

At times bogus callers travel in pairs. While one comes to the door to talk to you, and distract your attention, the other may gain access to your home through a side or back door, or even window, take what doesn't belong to them, and make good their escape before you even know what has happened.

Bogus callers will sometimes offer residents a brief glimpse of an identity card in the hope this will satisfy them. Don't be fooled. Ask to see the identity card properly.

You can also phone Quick Check on 0800 013 22 90 and the person on the other end will check the caller at your door is legitimate. The service is free and operates 24 hours a day.

Genuine callers will not mind waiting until you have checked that they are who they say they are. If you are not convinced by the identity of the caller, do not let them in and call the police emergency number 999 immediately.

If you would like advice on crime prevention and how to make your home safer, please ring 0845 600 8000 and ask to speak to your local crime prevention officer.

Yours etc.,



Community Safety,

PSNI C District.