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Bogus Officials - Prevention Advice

Alert message sent 18/02/2020 19:58:00

Information sent on behalf of West Mids Police

Good Evening Citizen,

We have been made aware recently that there may be a Bogus Official operating in the Handsworth area. On this occasion it is not believed that this 'official' was able to carry out a distraction burglary we would like to take this opportunity to remind you of some preventative advice. 

These individuals will prey on vulnerable/ elderly residents in areas and attempt to gain entry in to properties by posing as an official or working for a company/ organisation. However, these people may just ask to use the toilet or phone. Please be mindful in these situations.

You can find more information on www.westmidlandspolice.co.uk  

Burglars won't go to the trouble of breaking into your home if they think they can just knock and be invited in. So always be on your guard when anyone you're not expecting - a man, a woman or even a child turns up at your door.
  • Bogus 'officials' may be smartly dressed and claim to be from the council, gas board, health authority or other organisation.
  • Bogus 'workmen' may say that they need to come in to check something or make urgent repairs. They may even claim to be police officers.
  • Genuine callers will normally make an appointment first and will carry identification with their photograph on.
What to do if someone calls at your door:
  • Check to see who it is by using the spy hole if you have one, or look through a front window
  • Always put the chain on before you open the door. (If you don't have a chain it's a good idea to get one)
  • Only put on your door chain as you answer the door - don't keep it on all the time as this could delay your exit in case of fire
  • Look at their clothing. Some official callers will have a uniform bearing their organisation's name or symbol
  • If you don't know the caller, ask to see their identity card. Check it carefully, and keep the chain on while you do this. Genuine callers won't mind if you close the door while you do this
  • Some public utility services (e.g. water, electricity, gas) operate a password system. Contact your local branch to find out more
  • If you're still not sure, ask the caller to come back later. You can then check their story by phoning the organisation or company they claim to represent. Look up the number in your own telephone directory. Don't rely on the telephone number on their card - it may be the number of a criminal’s partner
  • Bogus callers sometimes work in pairs. Beware of one distracting you while the other steals your property. The best practice is not to let them in
  • Ensure your back door is locked if you are answering the door to someone you don't know.
  • Watch out for anyone who says they're in a hurry. Don't let them pressure you. If in doubt, call a neighbour or friend
  • If you have any suspicions at all, don't let them in
  • If you're still not happy, phone the police - dial 999 - and tell them what's happened.  And tell your neighbours
Kind Regards,

Handsworth Wood, Neighbourhood Policing Team
Message sent by
Jakob Moloney (Police, PCSO, Handsworth Wood)

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