The Police have had a number of reported incidents of people saying they are from the Water Board who have gained or attempted to gain entry into homes in Croydon right across the borough.
Please see the crime prevention advice below and circulate it to friends/family. Please make elderly and vulnerable people you know aware as they are more likely to fall victim to this type of scam.
Distraction burglars pretend to be someone they are not in order to enter your home to steal.
The most common methods include:
• Pretending to be from a utility company investigating a gas or water leak
• Asking for help to leave a note for a neighbour.
• Claiming to be in a hurry or an emergency and needing to get into your home quickly.
• Working in teams where one person distracts you while another searches your home.
Remember – If in doubt, keep them out!
• Always check the identity of any caller – use your door viewer to see who is there and keep the door chain on.
• Ask for ID and check it with the company before letting somebody in.
• Use the phone number advertised in the phone book or online, as the number on their identity card could be fake. For a utility company, call the customer service department. Close the door while you do this.
Remember, genuine callers won’t mind checks. If you feel at all unsure, schedule a time for the caller to come back when a friend or relative is there.
For pre-planned appointments with utility companies, a password scheme can be set up. Then, if they call they will not only have to provide proof identity but this pre-agreed password.
If a distraction burglar has entered your home, be careful not to touch anything as there may be forensic evidence to trace the suspect. Call the police immediately.