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Crime Prevention Advice - If in doubt, keep them out.

Most callers are genuine and mean you no harm, but bogus callers may try to trick their way into your home.

Be vigilant against Bogus Callers

Older people are less likely than any other age group to be victims of crime. However, there is one type of criminal that target older people: bogus callers.  This is a distressing crime often aimed at the most vulnerable members of our community. The actions of these people can have serious consequences on the quality of life of many victims.

Most callers are genuine and mean you no harm, but bogus callers can often seem plausible and will try to trick their way into your home.  They may give false or misleading details in order to gain entry and either by their manner, actions or persistence, confuse you into parting with cash or property. Alternatively, they may steal your money and valuables whilst you are distracted.

Multi-agency crime prevention messages are supported by the Police, Trading Standards, the Fire Service and West Lothian Council.   Collectively, they deliver advice and guidance on what practical measures elderly people and their relatives can take to ensure they remain safe from harm within their home address.  Community Safety Partners can now submit referrals to the Financial Harm Group if they feel that a member of the public would benefit from specific input as a preventative measure.  This may prevent  them becoming a victim or to reduce the likelihood of them becoming a repeat victim.

Some householders are becoming more confident at challenging 'cold callers' and it is hoped that the following information will enhance this good crime prevention knowledge.

  • Fit a door chain or bar, and use it.
  • Keep front and back doors locked.
  • Only deal with callers by appointment.
  • Always ask for identification and check it carefully.
  • Don't keep large sums of money at home.
  • Never accept offers of work. If a job need doing on your home or garden, contact a local tradesperson for a quote.
  • West Lothian Council have a 'Trusted Trader' website that you can use to find a trader that you can trust.  For more information, go to the Trusted Trader webpages.

If in doubt, keep them out.

Neighbours can also play a part in helping protect the more vulnerable in their community. Residents should try to look out for one another and report all suspicious activity to the Police immediately:

  • Call 999 and ask for the police if you feel threatened or scared
  • Report suspicions cold callers by calling 101,
  • Information can also be passed anonymously to Crimestoppers, call 0800 555 111