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17 December 2013, 06:18 | Updated: 17 December 2013, 07:43
Officers are giving advice about how to deal with bogus callers and distraction burglars.
Inspector Richard Dixey, of Dorset Police, said: “Make sure the people you care about and your elderly neighbours are not vulnerable to bogus callers or distraction burglars this Christmas.
“Victims of bogus callers or distraction burglaries are usually elderly and live by themselves.”
Dorset Police is issuing advice to help reduce anyone’s chances of becoming a victim of a distraction burglary or bogus callers:
Ensure that good locks and a door chain are fitted on the doors
Make sure that no large amounts of money are in the home and maintain the house and garden so it does not attract attention
Have regular contact with your neighbours and family members
Encourage everyone to adhere to the following advice when a caller is at their door
Inspector Dixey continues: “The offenders will often work in pairs with one person acting as the distraction while the other enters the home.
“When answering the door, consider the following:
LOCKED – Is the back door locked?
STOP – Am I expecting anyone?
CHAIN – Put the chain on BEFORE opening the door.
CHECK – Ask for the caller’s identification. Shut the door leaving the caller on the doorstep and phone the number in the phone book NOT the one on the card they give you, as this could be an accomplice around the corner – especially if it is a mobile number. A genuine caller will be happy to wait while you do this.
“I urge people not to store large amounts of money and valuables in one area and to keep a close eye on family members and vulnerable people in your community.
“Do not buy, sell or sign up to any work on the doorstep no matter how urgent they say the work is. If you are suspicious of the caller’s intentions, tell them to go away and call a family member or neighbour and inform the police on 101. If they won’t leave, then call 999.”
You should also consider joining Neighbourhood Watch. Details for this can be found on the Dorset Police website.
Dorset Police will be issuing further information for protecting against bogus callers and distraction burglary via the force Twitter account using #DPXmasCountdown.