milngavie precinct, launch of multi-agency bogus caller strategy'photo emma mitchell'13/5/11
milngavie precinct, launch of multi-agency bogus caller strategy'photo emma mitchell'13/5/11

A HIGH profile campaign has been launched by police and East Dunbartonshire Council to crack down on bogus callers.

The move follows a spate of incidents across the district - some of which have seen vulnerable and often elderly members of the community conned out of large sums of cash.

The ‘Close Your Door to Bogus Callers’ campaign aims to raise awareness and offer practical advice to those who could be targeted by callous conmen.

Chief Inspector Brian McInulty, based at Kirkintilloch police office, told the Herald: “This type of offence is despicable. Victims are frequently the elderly or vulnerable.

“Often items that are stolen are of great sentimental value rather than monetary and are therefore irreplaceable to the victim.”

Clive Lewis, from East Dunbartonshire Council’s Trading Standards, said people should check that salesmen, utility staff and traders are genuine.

He said: “They will have identification badges on them and will be more than happy to show them. You should not hesitate in keeping someone on the doorstep whilst checking they are who they say they are.

“Companies will always be happy to confirm details. Our advice is to always use door chains, check who the caller is and confirm their identity.”

He added: “If you’re not sure, don’t open the door.”

Over the coming weeks, police officers will be handing out posters to community centres, post offices, charity shops, libraries and other public places whilst delivering short presentations to local groups on practical advice on how to avoid becoming a victim of bogus callers.

East Dunbartonshire Councillor Bill Binks, vice convener of the social services committee, said: “Bogus callers target older or more vulnerable members of our community.

“Their actions cause confusion and distress and often result in victims being afraid to go out, leading to isolation and in some cases a need for increased support.”

Strathclyde Police community safety department advises that if you spot people you have not seen before acting suspiciously, or work being carried out that seems suspicious, then call them on 0141 532 4400 or Crime Stoppers on 0800 555 1111.