POLICE are investigating after an 85-year-old woman handed over thousands of pounds to two suspicious callers.
The victim answered the door of her Silvester Road, Waterlooville, home to a cold-caller offering to carry out building work on her property several weeks ago. She agreed to the work being undertaken by the man, who was described as middle-aged, and paid him. He was accompanied by a second man who was described as being aged in his late-teens. The work carried out was minimal and of poor quality.
On Friday, December 15 a white man dressed in a suit knocked at the victim’s door. He claimed to be a police officer and showed identification. He claimed that the victim had been defrauded by the builder and asked the victim to hand over cash from the same set of notes used to pay the builder previously.
Officers are investigating both incidents as a potential scam. The second man was not a police officer.
DC Pete Bambury said: ‘A legitimate police officer would never ask you to hand over money after cold-calling at your home without ensuring that relevant processes had been completed and providing legitimate details that could be independently verified of an ongoing investigation.’
‘Sadly in this case the victim has handed over around £5,000 in cash to two suspicious callers. If you are unsure of someone’s identification don’t be afraid to verify this with a phone call and never agree to work being undertaken by a cold-caller there and then.
‘Any legitimate contractor will be able to provide a written quote and full contact details that can be checked before work is undertaken. If you are unsure of someone’s identity don’t allow them to enter your home, legitimate callers will not try to force you into making any decisions at the time and will be happy to call back.
‘I’d urge anyone with elderly family members in Waterlooville to share our crime prevention advice with them. Anyone with information that could help our enquiries should call 101 quoting 44170486227.’
Police are reminding people to protect themselves by using the following advice:
· Never give personal or bank account details to anyone who contacts you unexpectedly
· Never tell anyone your PIN number
· If you have given out information which could compromise your bank security in any way, call your bank to cancel your cards as soon as possible
· Never hand over your card, money or valuables to someone at the door to be sent off elsewhere
· If you are concerned about an unsolicited phone call from someone that you do not know, who asks you to hand over money please report this to police as a suspicious incident by calling 101.
Anyone who is concerned about similar incident should contact police by calling 101 and quoting 44170486227.
If a crime is in progress, please call 999.