Beat the fraudsters

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TRICKS of the trade used by bogus officials are being highlighted by police and Yorkshire Water in a bid to reduce the number of victims duped by fraudsters.

They plan to run an awareness raising event at the Lifewise Centre in Rotherham, aimed at South Yorkshire residents aged over 50.

Crime prevention tips and information on what residents should do if strangers call at their homes unannounced will be given out to people attending the event on Tuesday, April 3.

Andy Foster, of South Yorkshire Police, who is working on the joint project, said: “Bogus callers are people who claim to be someone they are not. They often dress appropriately for the role they are playing and usually have a story to get your attention.

“Most are very convincing and extremely persuasive. Often one person will call at the address and be speaking with the resident whilst another will sneak in the property to steal items.

“To gain access to homes, they may claim to be from the local authority and other public agencies or utility companies. In particular they often claim to be from the water board.

“Unfortunately the water board is no longer in existence so this is an easy way to spot that they are a bogus caller.

“The aim of the day is not to frighten people but to make people living in Rotherham, particularly the elderly and vulnerable, feel safer, raise their awareness of these incidents and give them some useful prevention advice.

“It is great news that we are working with Yorkshire Water on this event and raising awareness of these issues for our vulnerable communities.

Yorkshire Water will be promoting a password scheme it operates to identify its staff.

n To attend the event or find out more call the Lifewise Centre on 01709 832455 or send an email to lifewise@southyorks.pnn.police.uk.