Police aim to close door on crime gangs who target the vulnerable

Doorstep crime gangs are being targeted by police this week as part of a major crackdown.

Operation Monarda wants to prevent people being conned out of cash in a bid to cripple rogue traders financially.

According to local police, victims in East Dunbartonshire have been robbed of tens of thousands of pounds from the fraudsters.

The crimes involve cold callers and bogus workmen who target vulnerable people – including the elderly – in their own homes.

This week, police officers are visiting previous victims of the callous crime gangs to reiterate their message.

They will also be joining trading standards officials from East Dunbartonshire to visit Royal Bank of Scotland branches throughout the area to warn of the dangers of internet scam.

Liaison officer Constable Gerry Christie told the Herald: “This is a week of action against doorstep crime.

“Elderly people in particular are affected by bogus workmen.

“We will be visiting adults in the community who have been the victims of fraudsters to give them advice and help.

“We are also visiting RBS branches in Kirkintilloch, Bishopbriggs and Milngavie to warn customers of the dangers of online scam.”

He said that some of 
the techniques used by the criminals are high pressure and sophisticated.

He added: “A lot of people are being caught out by hoax emails. The emails tell you your computer has been compromised.

“If you respond to this email, the scammers are then able to get access to your bank details 
online. “

According to police, there are two main types of doorstep crime.

A police spokesman said: “Bogus callers try to get into your home or obtain personal details by pretending to be someone they’re not.

“Some examples are council staff, charity collectors, meter readers and police 
officers. In reality, they are criminals trying to steal money and valuables.

“The other type are rogue traders who usually cold-call, claiming to be workers offering to sell services, make repairs or carry out work on your house, garden or driveway.

“In reality they charge inflated prices for shoddy or unnecessary work.”

Monardo, a joint venture with Trading Standards, HM Revenue and Customs, the Departmenof Work and 
Pension and the Scottish Environment Protection Agency, was launched in April last year.

Anyone with any concerns about doorstep crime can contact Police Scotland on 101.