Gloucestershire Police is reminding people to stay vigilant after an elderly woman in Cheltenham was targeted by bogus callers
4:00pm Monday 9th September 2013 in Cotswolds news
POLICE in Cheltenham are appealing for witnesses and reminding residents to protect themselves from bogus callers after a Charlton Kings woman in her 80s was targeted.
On Wednesday, September 4 a man approached awoman at her home and told her that she needed work doing on her garden and roof.
He then drove her to the back for her to withdraw money several times in the same day.
The bank became suspicious and declined one of the amounts.
The woman’s family have inspected her house and cannot see any evidence of work being completed on the home.
The matter was reported to the police and officers conducted extensive house to house enquiries in the area and have offered advice to residents in the area.
Senior Harm Reduction Advisor for Gloucestershire Constabulary, Dave McFarlane, said: “These kinds of incidents are always so despicable because the offenders deliberately target the most vulnerable members of society.
“We will, of course, do all we can to locate the offenders and to investigate this matter fully and we would urge members of the public to take extra care of their elderly neighbours simply by watching out for anyone suspicious loitering around or perhaps challenging someone you don’t recognise calling at an elderly neighbour’s house.”
The following simple steps will help reduce the possibility of being targeted by bogus callers: • If someone knocks on your door check who it is by looking through a window or peep hole.
• If it is not someone you know or trust or a business caller who has made a pre-arranged appointment, do not open the door.
• This advice applies whatever uniform the caller appears to be wearing or ID card they are carrying and however urgent their business claims to be.
• Tell unexpected callers to leave and come back later at an agreed time when you can have someone with you.
• In the meantime, check their credentials by calling the organisation they claim to represent. Do so by looking up the number in the phone book rather than relying on the one on their card as this could simply put you through to an accomplice of a potential offender.
• Genuine staff from utility companies won’t mind waiting while you do this or will call back later.
• Watch if the caller appears to be in a hurry and never feel pressured or embarrassed into letting someone in.
• The golden rule is ‘if in doubt, keep them out’.
Anyone with any information about the Charlton Kings incident is asked to call Gloucestershire Police on 101 quoting incident number 295 of September 4.