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Police warning after reports of bogus workmen in Highlands

By Alan Hendry

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Householders in the Highlands are being warned to be on their guard for possible bogus workmen.

Over the weekend, police received several reports of people acting suspiciously around industrial and farm premises in the region, as well as looking in gardens and knocking on doors – reportedly looking for "business".

Police Scotland said in a statement: "Bogus callers may be smartly dressed and claim to be from the council, police or a utility company. They can also turn up as builders, gardeners or other trades and try to trick you into paying for unnecessary work.

"You should never agree to have work done by someone who is just passing by or cold-calling you. If you think work needs done get at least three quotes from trusted companies."

Police offer the following advice:

  • LOCK – Keep your front, back, and side doors locked, even when you are at home.
  • STOP – Before you answer the door, stop and think if you are expecting anyone. Check that you have locked the back door and taken the key out. Look through a door viewer ("spyhole") to see who it is.
  • CHAIN – If you decide to open the door, put the door chain or door bar on first if you have one. Keep the chain or bar on while you are talking to the person on the doorstep.
  • CHECK – Even if they have a prearranged appointment, check identity cards carefully. Close the door while you do this. If you are still unsure, look up a phone number in the phone book or online and ring the organisation to verify their identity. Do not use a phone number on the identity card as this may be fake.

If you think a bogus caller or doorstep criminal has called on you, or been in your street, report this to the police immediately on 101 (non-emergency) or 999 (in an emergency). Try and note as much detail as possible, including registration numbers of any vehicles being used.

If you would rather remain anonymous, you can report any incidents to Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

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