Warning over doorstep scammers renewed after 'water board' official tried to trick way into Sunderland pensioner's home

The latest incident happened in Dent Street in Fulwell. Image copyright Google Maps.
The latest incident happened in Dent Street in Fulwell. Image copyright Google Maps.

A fresh warning has been issued after another incident where a fake official tried to talk their way into an elderly woman's house.

The incident happened in Dent Street in Fulwell on Wednesday, when a man claiming he worked for the "water board" said he needed to get into the house.

He showed a fake ID to the woman, but she was suspicious of him and denied him entry to her home.

He went on to ask questions about whether her neighbours were around before he left the street.

The appeal from Northumbria Police comes after its officers issued a warning earlier this week following similar attempt to get into properties.

The Red House and Downhill areas last week involving a woman knocking on doors, with the Fulwell incident happening on Wednesday and later reported to the force.

Sergeant Louise Mcclennan has urged people to be vigilant as doorstep scammers target Sunderland homes.

Sergeant Louise Mcclennan has urged people to be vigilant as doorstep scammers target Sunderland homes.

Read more: Sunderland scam warning after reports woman knocked on elderly residents' doors asking to see bank statements

A spokesman for Northumbria Police said: "We'd like to reiterate these messages after a similar incident was reported in Fulwell.

"A man claiming he was from the water board tried to access an elderly resident's property and showed fake identification.

"He was not allowed access and left - please be vigilant."

On the evening of Thursday, May 9, officers received a report a woman had been calling at homes on the Red House and Downhill estates asking to see elderly occupants’ bank statements and other personal paperwork.

It was reported that the woman had on some occasions asked to use bathrooms as a way of getting inside to look around their homes.

It is not believed that anyone gave over any details or had any items stolen, with an investigation ongoing into the incidents.

Sergeant Louise Mcclennan said: "Criminals quite target the most vulnerable in our communities, especially those living alone, so I would ask members of the public to be wary if a suspicious person knocks on the door asking for personal information or to come inside.

“Please make sure you and any loved ones are aware of this, do not let anyone into your home who you do not know, and be careful when keeping large sums of money in the house.

“Anybody with any concerns is encouraged to contact police at the soonest opportunity.”

Officers are eager to hear from anyone who has any further information about the spate of suspicious incidents.

Anyone with information is asked to contact police on 101 quoting reference 1124 090519 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.