Information sent on behalf of Neighbourhood Watch Scotland
Police Scotland have received a few reports this week of potential bogus workmen operating in various areas of Edinburgh. The males offer to clean gutters and when paid for agreed works the work carried out (if any) was of a poor standard. They are using white vans, without livery, with ladders on top and foreign registration plates.
Descriptions of the males are as follows:
Male, white, short build, brown hair, Irish accent, High Viz vest, facemask
Male, white, heavy build, brown hair, Irish accent, Orange High Viz vest,
Male, white, medium build, 30-40 years old, High Viz vest, grey trousers, black cap with shamrock on the front
If someone calls on you:
LOCK – Keep your front, back, and side doors locked, even when you are at home.
STOP – Before you answer, stop and think if you are expecting anyone. Check that you have locked the back door and taken the key out. Look through a door viewer (‘spy hole’) to see who it is.
CHAIN – If you decide to open the door, put the door chain or door bar on first if you have one. Keep the chain or bar on while you are talking to the person on the doorstep.
CHECK – Even if they have a pre-arranged appointment, check identity cards carefully. Close the door while you do this. If you are still unsure, look up a phone number in the phone book or online and ring the organisation to verify their identity. Do not use a phone number on the identity card as this may be fake.
Bogus callers may be smartly dressed and claim to be from the council, police, or utility company. They can also turn up as builders, gardeners, or other trades and try to trick you into paying for unnecessary work. You should never agree to have work done by someone who is just passing by or ‘cold calling’ you. If you think work needs done get at least three quotes from trusted companies. Use The Edinburgh Trusted Trader Scheme to find tradespeople who have been checked and vetted by both Police and Trading Standards officers. Information on this Scheme can be found on:
https://www.trustedtrader.scot/Edinburgh/ or by phoning 0131 513 9921.
If you think a bogus caller or doorstep criminal has called on you, or been in your street, report this to the police immediately on ‘101’ (non-emergency) or ‘999’ (in an emergency).
If you would rather remain anonymous, you can report any incidents to Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.
Please consider signing up to the following bulletins for up to date information on current frauds/scams:
For further crime prevention advice go to https://www.scotland.police.uk/advice-and-information/scams-and-frauds/doorstep-crime-and-bogus-callers/ or contact your local Crime Prevention Officer by contacting ‘101’.
PC Sonja Kaiser-Ferris
Prevention, Interventions and Partnerships Department