An elderly woman in Blake Road, Corby, was targeted by a rogue trader driving an orange transit van this week.
Police officers are now advising people to be on their guard against distraction burglars and rogue traders following reports of people cold calling at homes across Corby and Kettering offering to perform odd jobs in exchange for money.
The woman was targeted at about 11am on Monday (7 November) when a man called at her house. He asked to go inside to use the toilet and took £30 from her after promising to return later to prune trees. He didn’t return to carry out the work. The man was driving an orange Ford Transit van.
Anyone with information about this or similar incidents is asked to call police on 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.
Please also share the following safety tips with anyone you know who might be vulnerable to bogus callers and doorstep crime:
- Don’t feel pressured into opening the door. Don’t feel you are being rude, genuine callers won’t mind. If you’re not sure, don’t open the door.
- Make sure you can see who is at the door before you answer it. Where possible fit a spy-hole to identify callers. Alternatively talk to them through an adjacent window.
- Set up passwords with your utility companies – genuine callers will need to recite this password to you. For example, Anglian Water’s WaterCare scheme offers this service and more
- Don’t use telephone numbers on ID cards – if the person isn’t genuine the ID and the telephone number won’t be either. Get telephone numbers direct from the phone directory. Alternatively make a list of your important numbers and keep them near the phone.
- If someone is knocking on the door saying they are the police, call 101 and check the identity with the police control room. In an emergency call 999.
- Look out for those who are vulnerable within your family or neighbourhood.
- In Northamptonshire, many agencies have come together to form the Doorstep crime Action Network (DAN). If you have any suspicions or concerns that doorstep rogue traders or distraction burglars are operating in your community or targeting someone you know, contact the dedicated doorstep crime hotline: 0345 23 07 702.