Police highlight the tricks used by conmen to get through the front door

PUBLISHED: 12:41 10 November 2014 | UPDATED: 12:42 10 November 2014

Police are highlighting the tricks doorstep conmen use.

Police are highlighting the tricks doorstep conmen use.

Archant

Police are highlighting the tricks that distraction burglars use to get through the front door in a bid to prevent future victims.

Investigating frozen or leaking pipes, reading the meter, claiming to be a police officer investigating a crime or looking for a lost pet are just some of the lies that doorstep conmen use.

Police are urging householders, particularly the elderly, to be aware of these ploys and to keep the door shut to unexpected callers as winter closes in.

Det Insp Ben Wright from Operation Manhunt - the specialist unit tasked with driving down distraction burglaries - said: “Needing to check a water leak caused by frozen or burst pipes is by far the most common excuse a distraction burglar will use to get access to someone’s property, particularly now the weather is changing. It creates a sense of emergency and the resident, who is usually older, will feel they must let the caller in to their property so that further examinations can take place.”

“We are reminding people of these tricks so they are aware and can say no at the door. We would always advise people not to open the door to anyone they are not expecting. These people can be very convincing so if you don’t open the door in the first place, you will not be persuaded into letting them in.”

People with vulnerable or elderly relatives, friends or neighbours are being urged to pass on the safety message.

Householders are urged to ask expected callers for identification before letting them in to ensure they are who they claim to be and to never consider having house or garden work done by someone who knocks on the door. Reputable traders can be found via Trustmark on 01344 630 804 or visit www.trustmark.org.uk

Always call 999 if you suspect a crime is in progress or you believe someone is acting suspiciously around a neighbour’s property.


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