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Police Scotland Warn of Scammers Targeting Communities

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Homeowners in Highland Perthshire are being urged by Perth & Kinross Police to take additional care from unexpected callers who may try to gain access to your home or obtain personal details.

This follows a scam in the Pitlochry area in which a sixty-year-old woman became the victim of fraud and lost over £9,000. (https://www.heartland.scot/news/local/scammers-defraud-9000-from-pitlochry-woman/)

A Police Scotland spokesperson said:

“Bogus callers try to get into your home or obtain personal details by pretending to be someone they’re not, including council staff, charity collectors, meter readers and police officers. They are criminals trying to steal money and valuables.”

Perth & Kinross Police also advise of the following steps to protect yourself from doorstep crime:

  • Be on guard if someone turns up unexpectedly.
  • Keep front and back doors locked.
  • Use the door viewer or nearby window when answering the door.
  • Fit a door chain or bar – use it and keep it on when talking to callers at the door.
  • If you’re not sure, don’t answer the door.
  • Don’t feel embarrassed – genuine callers expect you to be careful.
  • Only let callers in if they have an appointment and you have confirmed they are genuine.
  • Always ask for identification badges of anyone you answer the door to, but don’t rely on them. Identity cards can be faked – phone the company to verify their identity.
  • Some companies offer a password system. Ask your utility providers if this can be used and if you have a password with a company make sure the caller uses it.
  • Never let people try to persuade you to let them into your home even if they are asking for help – they may not be genuine. If someone is persistent, ask them to call at another time and arrange for a friend or family member to be with you.
  • Never agree to pay for goods or give money to strangers who arrive at your door.
  • Don’t keep large amounts of money in your home.
  • Remember, it’s your home. There’s no reason why anyone should ever enter your home against your wishes.
  • If you’re not sure, don’t answer the door.

This comes as Police Scotland also recognize Loneliness Awareness Week and the importance of being aware of vulnerable or elderly members of our community.

Social media users are encouraged to continue the conversation around loneliness by using the hashtags #LetsTalkLoneliness and #LonelinessAwarenessWeek.

To assist homeowners in avoiding doorstep scams, Police Scotland have a Nominated Neighbour Scheme in which an agreed upon person in the community can receive callers on behalf of others around them.

Police Scotland have provided official methods of communicating with utility providers to verify the identity of official callers.

If you are suspicious of activity or unexpected callers in your neighbourhood, contact Police Scotland on 101 or query the business with your local authorities Trading Standards team.

For more information on safeguarding yourself against bogus callers and doorstep crime, please visit Police Scotland’s dedicated webpage at: https://www.scotland.police.uk/advice-and-information/scams-and-frauds/doorstep-crime-and-bogus-callers/

For more information on becoming a Nominated Neighbour, please visit: https://www.scotland.police.uk/spa-media/h3na5o2w/nominated-neighbour-leaflet.pdf

To get involved in Loneliness Awareness Week, please visit: https://letstalkloneliness.co.uk/

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