Police urge householders to heed advice against cold callers

RECENT CASES IN FORRES and Aberdeen of vulnerable people being targeted at their own doorstep by rogue traders has prompted a Police warning.

Several instances of elderly victims being conned out of four-figure sums are being investigated by the North East Division over recent weeks.

Investigations are ongoing into these and anyone who has information is asked to contact Police on 101 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555111 if you would prefer to remain anonymous.

Doorstep crime can take countless forms, with the main culprits being bogus callers and rogue traders.

Bogus callers try to obtain personal details by pretending to be someone they’re not, including council staff, charity collectors, meter readers, bank staff and police officers. In reality, they are criminals trying to steal money and valuables.

Rogue traders usually cold-call, claiming to be workers offering services such as making repairs or carrying out work on a person’s house, garden or driveway. In reality they charge inflated prices for poor quality or unnecessary work.

Detective Chief Inspector Kevin Walker said: “Doorstep crime affects some of the most vulnerable members of local communities, with perpetrators mainly targeting victims due to a perceived vulnerability, such as age, gender or disability.

“Any form of this crime is despicable and completely unacceptable and I would urge people to be vigilant of callers either at your door or on the phone.

“I would also urge anyone who has close contact with potential victims – family, friends and carers – to watch out for suspicious callers or people at their doors, or any suspicious amounts of money disappearing.

“It is very important to pass on advice to friends, neighbours or family members who may be more likely to be targeted and provide them with the information and confidence to say no.”