Have you fallen victim to a distraction burglary in Salisbury?

Have you fallen victim to a distraction burglary in Salisbury?

Published by Jack Deery at 1:21pm 23rd January 2020. (Updated at 1:32pm 23rd January 2020)

3 minute read

Wiltshire Police have been made aware of a series of incidents across the county.

They are now encouraging anyone who has been a victim to a distraction burglary over the last few months to report it to them. 

Incidents, where a man posing as a representative from a utility company has tricked his way into elderly people's homes, have been happening in Salisbury recently.

Some have also happened in Warminster and Westbury. 

Leave cold callers out in the cold
Wiltshire Police are issuing the message to try and avoid people falling victim to more similar incidents

HAVE YOU BEEN TARGETED?

The suspect(s) have often worn a green or yellow fluorescent jacket and, once they have been able to get inside a property, they've asked the homeowner to turn the lights on or off in different rooms. 

While they are distracted, they have taken cash or bank cards from the address. 

On some occasions the fraudster has then called back later posing as someone from a bank or the police to try to obtain a pin number and they have been successful at times, meaning they can withdraw money from accounts.

Anyone who has been affected by a similar incident recently is being asked to call police on 101. 

PREVENTION ADVICE

The force have now issued the following advice to reduce the chances of it happening: 

  • You are never required to open their door to unexpected callers and that it is not rude to send someone away
  • IF YOU'RE NOT SURE, DON'T OPEN THE DOOR"
  • Display a 'No Cold Calling Home' sticker to discourage unwanted callers
  • Try to ensure that the outside of the property is well maintained, including the garden. Properties that are poorly maintained may be targeted
  • Do not keep money in the house and keep credit cards, debit cards, cheque books, savings books and any other valuables in a safe place
  • Never leave the door open and unattended - close it until you return
  • Ask to see the caller's ID, even if they have made an appointment to see you, and call their company yourself (not on a number they provide) to check they are genuine
  • The 'Waterboard' no longer exists, it is an obsolete phrase used only by bogus callers.
  • Lock your back door and close windows before you answer the door
  • Use a spy hole and chain to check who the caller is before you answer.
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