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Staffordshire Police warning over bogus official targeting elderly

By Staffordshire Newsletter  |  Posted: March 27, 2014

By Alison Thomas

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Staffordshire Police are warning people to be on their guard against suspicious callers after a bogus official targeted a vulnerable elderly woman in Newcastle.

The families of the elderly and vulnerable are also being encouraged to warn their relatives against opening the door to such callers.

The advice comes after an incident in the Bradwell area on Saturday March 22.

At approximately 2pm a man called at the home of an 80-year-old woman and claimed to be from Aspire Housing, who were in the area ‘fitting window locks and CCTV’. He entered the house and asked her for payment, claiming he would return at a later time. He didn’t come back.

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The man is described as white, aged in his late 30s, with dark hair. He was approximately 5ft 7ins tall and wore a waist length brown jacket and dark trousers.

An investigation into the incident is now underway by detectives, including extensive house-to-house enquiries and gathering CCTV footage from the locality. It was confirmed that Aspire did not have anyone in the area carrying out such work.

Caroline Baggaley, head of housing at Aspire, said: “When our representatives call at your home to inspect or carry out a repair, please check their identity.

“If the caller cannot provide this, do not let them in. Aspire Housing will never ask for money for works undertaken on the doorstep. If a customer has a caller who will not show ID or who is asking for cash, they should report to police.”

Anyone with information is asked to contact DC Colin Rushton at Staffordshire Police on 101, quoting incident 414 of March 22, or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

Residents are also encouraged to contact police every time they have suspicions about any caller at their door.

Even if someone claims to be an official - and that includes police officers and council representatives - people should get their ID checked out.

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