New alert over bogus callers

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WIGAN homeowners are being urged to take extra care when answering the front door to prevent themselves from falling foul of bogus callers and distraction burglary.

The Consumer Council for Water has issued the warning against criminals who claim to be from the “water board” or other recognised organisations, to gain entry to a home and commit a robbery.

Around 30 such crimes happen in England and Wales every day and Wigan has been plagued by them in the past. The Council’s chairwoman, Dame Yve Buckland, said: “We have produced advice on what to do should someone unexpectedly come knocking, to help people protect themselves against bogus callers, which is available online at www.ccwater.org.uk. Here you can select your utility suppliers and print a list of contact numbers to keep handy should you need to check up on a visitor, along with our top tips to keep near the door.”

The Consumer Council top tips to protect against bogus callers include:

n Keep your door on the chain and look to see who is calling before opening it;

n Ask for proof of ID through the crack in the door or through the letterbox. Check that the person is genuine by calling the organisation, but make sure you get the phone number from a separate source rather than from the visitor, such as the phone book or a previous bill.

n It’s OK to refuse entry or ask the person to leave at any time if you’re not completely satisfied that the caller is genuine.