I’m sad to report that there’s one or more bogus workmen operating locally again, preying on the elderly and vulnerable, with three incidents being reported on Monday morning, 19th August 2019 in Aldridge and Shelfield.
West Midlands Police said:
Aldridge and Shelfield Bogus Caller Alert
Please be on the alert for bogus callers who are preying on the elderly in the Aldridge and Shelfield areas. Yesterday, Monday 19th August, three offences were reported in a short space of time.
The first report came from Westbrook Avenue, Aldridge, where at around 10am an unknown person called at the residence of an elderly person stating he had been sent to fix the fence and that it would cost £25 up front. The money was handed over and the man, for whom we have no description, messed with the fence for a while before disappearing.
The next report came from New Street, Shelfield, shortly after 10am. A man claiming to be from the council stated he had been sent to clean the guttering and that it would cost £5. The man, described as being white and having a small beard, was challenged for his ID. He said he had forgotten it and made off. No money was handed over.
The third has come from Windsor Grove, Shelfield, when at around 10.45am a man called stating that he had been sent to do the garden and that it would cost £40. The money was handed over and he was allowed entry to the house and garden. A little later the victim found that her purse, which contained cash, had gone from the kitchen table and the man had also disappeared. The man is described as being white, in his mid thirties, having a goatee type beard and he spoke with a local accent.
All of these crimes have been perpetrated against people who are vulnerable due to their age and infirmity. If you have relatives or neighbours who are vulnerable, please remind them to be wary about answering the door to unexpected callers. Genuine callers will always make appointments before calling, will carry ID and never ask for cash up-front unless this has been previously agreed. Remember: STOP, CHAIN and CHECK.
STOP – are you expecting anybody? Do they have an appointment?
CHAIN – secure the door bar or chain before opening the door.
CHECK – Ask for ID from the caller and double check. Unsure? Close the door.
If you know of someone who may have been approached by a bogus caller recently, but has not reported it, please encourage them to do so. Every piece of information, however small, may help us catch these criminals and protect the most vulnerable.
If you have any information that may assist the police please contact us via Live Chat at west-midlands.police.uk between 8am to midnight, call 101 anytime or contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111, quoting crime reference number 20WS/197246H/19 (Windsor Grove), 20WS/197258U/19 (Westbrook Avenue) or log number 646 19/8/19 (New Street).
Please tell your relatives and neighbours about these scammers, and impress upon them how important it is not to be menaced into giving money for services at the door, no matter how plausible the people demanding cash are. Genuine companies will always contact you by other means.
Scumbags preying on the elderly and vulnerable are lower than a snake’s knees.
Please, if you have any further information relating to any such incident, or if you’ve witnessed something suspicious, please contact West Midlands Police by dialling 101 (999 in an emergency, obviously) or Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.