Fife Constabularly have been warning Fife residents against bogus callers after a recent spate of bogus callers targeted homes throughout Fife, including Lochgelly. The people have been gaining access to elderly homes, pretending to be utility workers, once they gain access they steal money from within the home.

The police believe the 5 incidents which took place on the 23rd of November all to be connected.

The bogus officials first struck in Kings Place, Rosyth about 10am where a man, described as in his 30’s, 5’8″ tall, slim build, wearing dark clothing managed to talk his way into a house.

Between 11.30am and 12.15pm an address in Pretoria Place, Cowdenbeath was targeted by two men again using the bogus pretence of being employed by a public utility company. The two men are described as being in their 20’s, 5’9″ tall, slim build wearing dark clothing and having Irish accents.

It is believed that the bogus workmen then moved to Lochgelly with a house in Westwater Street targeted between 12noon and 1pm. On this occasion two men visited the house where one is described as late 20’s, slim build, thin faced, wearing dark jacket with a badge displaying the word ‘Water’ or ‘Council’, the other man is described as late 20’s, medium build, wearing dark clothing.

Shetland Place in Kirkcaldy was then the focus of the gangs attention when about 2.45pm a bogus worker managed to gain access to a house. He is described as early 40’s, slim build wearing a knee length black over coat with white polo shirt underneath.

The last of the gangs activities reported to the police happened at 3.15pm in Boreland Place, Kirkcaldy where three men gained entry to a house with one of the men in possession of some form of identification. The three men are described as being in their 20’s,30’s and 40’s, wearing dark clothing and having English accents.

The officer leading the co-ordinated police response to these crimes Detective Sergeant Colin Robson said: “This series of distraction thefts are purposely targeting the most vulnerable in our society, the elderly. We believe these crimes are linked where the gang involved pray on the trust of the decent members of our society for their own greed. They have no shame or feelings of remorse. Several properties had cash stolen from them which the elderly occupants can ill afford to lose. I would ask people to be vigilant and to challenge callers to their door. All reputable workers will carry a form of identification but if you are suspicious at all contact the police. If your neighbour is elderly and vulnerable please look out for them. I would appeal to any person who may have been in the areas described and who saw these men or indeed any suspicious vehicles to contact the police on 0845 600 5702 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.”

Ref: http://www.fife.police.uk/default.aspx?page=5018

Bogus Callers Advice

Fife Council have put together the following advice for dealing with Bogus Callers, with the emphasis on; if in doubt keep them out.

  • Keep your doors locked even when you are in the house.
  • Before you answer the door think if you are expecting anyone.
  • Check you have locked the back door and take the key out.
  • Look through the spy hole or window and see who it is.
  • If you decide to open the door, put on the door chain or bar.
  • A genuine caller will make an appointment first, and will carry identification with their photograph on it. Check their identity card carefully, and leave the door chain on while you do this. A genuine caller will not mind being asked.
  • Check a caller’s details before letting them in, even telephone the company they say they are from. Do not use a number the caller gives you. Contact the company from the number in the phone book.
  • Take your time, and don’t be put under pressure. Do not take their word that the work they’re offering is necessary. If in doubt ask them to return when you have someone else with you
  • Never agree to work being carried out by a doorstep caller. Do not pay prior to work being carried out, and do not keep large amounts of money at home.
  • If offered, do not accept a lift to withdraw money to pay for work.
  • After an appointment, official visitors should always call back, and many companies use passwords.

More information and advice can be found at: http://www.fife.gov.uk/atoz/index.cfm?fuseaction=advice.display&adviceid=0167E770-CF2F-4E5C-A8AC9B72F702ED71

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