Wigan residents on alert after reports of bogus callers
Wiganers are being urged to be extra vigilant after several residents reported a “bogus” housing officer trying to gain access to properties.
The town hall is asking people to be on their guard following numerous reports of someone claiming to be from “Wigan and Leigh Housing” trying to get into homes across the borough.
According to the council, homes in the Worsley Hall and Ince areas have been targeting, with residents receiving visits from the mystery caller last week.
A spokesperson for Wigan Council, said: “We have been made aware of a person claiming to be from ‘Wigan and Leigh Housing’ trying to gain access to a number of properties in the Worsley Hall and Ince area.
“Housing staff at Wigan Council would not visit your property without making an appointment with you first, unless for example it is an emergency.
“If you are not expecting any visit from the council or any other company, please be vigilant.”
Residents are urged to contact the police if they find themselves faced with a doorstep caller without any prior warning.
Anyone who is an official employee of the council will have ID to prove it.
Typically, housing officers will contact residents either by phone or by letter before turning up for an appointment.
Following the warning, a number of Wigan residents said that they have recently either received a visit with no warning, or have received a letter arranging a visit and that no one has turned up.
Neil French said: “Had two people knock at mine claiming to be from the council asking about damp at my property, neither was from the council, neither had ID, no letters sent or anything.”
Sarah Atherton added: “I received a letter saying someone might call to inspect my home.
“Nobody ever did but the letter has obviously given the opportunist a free for all.”
One Worsley Hall resident, Hayley Parish, said that she has received numerous visits.
“I have had three different males knocking on my door in Worsley Hall saying they are working with the housing and want to inspect my house,” she said.
“Yet none had on any badges or explained themselves.
“Two I shut the door on but one just walked right in and started up my stairs.
“I had to tell him I have a one-week-old and he needed to leave right now.
“He did but I think that was only due to me having my phone in my hand about to make a call.”
This is not the first instance of bogus doorstep callers.
Just last year, United Utilities issued a warning to its Wigan customers after elderly residents received calls from someone claiming to work for the water board.
In a similar fashion, the company reminded its customers that anyone visiting homes from United Utilities would have be carrying photo identification.
As doorstep cold calling is often a source of anxiety for elderly or single tenants, Wigan Council has already taken steps to cut down on this approach.
It has introduced “no cold calling” zones across the borough in an attempt to crack down on doorstep crime.
Anyone who has suspicions about a bogus caller should contact Greater Manchester Police on 101 and inform the council via www.wigan.gov.uk/Contacts/Council-homes/General-tenancy-enquiries.aspx