Police Warning after Bogus Caller Cons Prescot Residents

By on Wednesday, December 18, 2013

housePolice are warning people to be alert after a con-man tried to gain entry to the homes of four elderly Prescot residents.

A man posing as a plain-clothes police officer visited four houses in Prescot on the evening of Monday 16 December.

Three of the four residents didn’t allow him inside, but in one Prescot house, he successfully stole an 87-year-old woman’s purse, containing a “large amount” of cash.

He told her there had been thefts in the area, and asked to check her house to see if any money had been stolen. She noticed her purse was missing after he left.

He told the same story to at least one other resident.

The man is described as a white male with short hair, aged in his 40s or 50s. He was wearing a three-quarter anorak-style coat.

Police believe he may have gained entry to a house in Huyton earlier that day, telling a 93-year-old woman he was a government official.

According to Merseyside Police, bogus officials are people who come to the door and claim to be from organisations such as utility companies, housing associations or other organisations.

They con their way into a home by using a number of excuses which can range from a requirement to read a meter, or to measure up for new kitchen units, and whilst inside they will steal cash or other valuables.

“I would like to reassure people that this type of offence is rare,” said Chief Inspector Matt Boyle from Merseyside Police, “but when it does happen it can have a big effect on the victim, particularly as they are often elderly or vulnerable.

“Most people who call at the door will be genuine but the best defence against bogus officials is to remember, if in doubt, keep them out.”

Officers are appealing for anyone who has any information which could help them with their inquiries to come forward.

If you have any information which could help the police in relation to the incidents in Prescot and Huyton call Merseyside Police on 0151 777 6570, or Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.

Anyone with information about bogus officials, whether it is to report a crime or suspicious behaviour, should call Merseyside Police on 101.

Bogus Callers: Police Advice

  • Remember to close and lock the back door before answering the front door
  • Always ask to see the identification of the person calling
  • If you are in any doubt about the identification shown, phone the company they claim to represent and check – don’t use the phone number they give you, look in the phone book for it
  • Ask the person to wait outside while you check and never leave your front door open while you do so
  • If the caller claims to be from an electricity, gas or water company, ask them to quote your customer reference number.  A genuine caller from these utility companies will have that information
  • If the caller claims to be from the police he/she should have a warrant card and this can be checked by calling Merseyside Police on 101
  • If the caller leaves and you are still unsure about their credibility, write down the details of the person and the registration number and type and colour of vehicle if you know it and contact us on 101
  • For extra security and peace of mind, fit a viewer or spy hole and a strong chain to your door

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