Be on guard against bogus callers

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PEOPLE in Sunderland are being warned about bogus callers in a series of events.

Residents are invited to a community forum at Ryhope Library, in Ryhope Street South, tomorrow from 10am to noon.

Then on Thursday, a second event is being run by officers at the Raich Carter Sports Centre in Commercial Road, from 10am to noon.

Northumbria Police and Crime Commissioner Vera Baird said: “I’m pleased to see police working with local residents to raise awareness of this issue.

“Unfortunately, bogus callers tend to target elderly and vulnerable people, and events like these are a valuable way to help people to protect themselves and their neighbours from bogus callers.”

Neighbourhood Inspector Jamie Southwell, Sunderland South policing team, said: “Although we don’t have an issue with bogus callers in the city, we think these community events are a timely reminder for people about how to take care if they get strangers coming to their door offering to sell them something.

“We regularly meet with local groups to get our crime prevention messages across.”

“Just because a caller says they’re from a particular company, such as the gas board or water company, the council or even the police, it doesn’t mean they are.

“We want people to remember to always stop and think before answering a call at their door. Precautions such as a door chain should be used and callers’ identity cards or badges should always be checked and their company contacted to verify who they are. Genuine visitors won’t mind being checked out.

“I’d also ask people to consider their neighbours if they’re elderly or vulnerable and let them know if a suspected bogus caller has been visiting their street.”