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Warning of scam targeting elderly

by Steve Beasant on 3 December, 2015

Please share crime prevention advice with your loved ones

A warning has been issued to vulnerable residents after a number of elderly victims were targeted by males and females pretending to be profoundly deaf.

The latest victim, an 84-year-old Waltham woman, fell foul of the con between 5pm and 6.30pm on Tuesday, December 1.

A woman claiming she was deaf and dumb called unexpectedly at the address and showed the victim a card, which stated that she was selling pictures to pay for her college tuition.

However, after the victim agreed to buy one and left the suspect alone, rooms within the property were searched and items taken including cash.

The theft was noticed when the victim’s carer arrived a short time later. The suspect is described as white, aged 20 to 25, of slim build, around 5ft 3in tall, with blonde hair. Similar offences have been reported in Scunthorpe and Grimsby area.

DCI Nicki Miller, who is leading the investigation, is keen to warn as many people as possible in order to prevent more people becoming victims of this type of offence.

She said: “I don’t want to alarm people but it is believed that the person responsible for this offence may have been involved in a number of similar incidents.

“For that reason we are appealing to people to take a few basic precautions in order to minimise the risk of them being targeted.

“We would also appeal for those with vulnerable friends, neighbours and relatives, to share this warning and advice with them so we reach as many people as possible.”

Among the steps you can take to protect yourself are:

  • Never buy at the door and don’t let people you don’t know into your home.
  • If you are unsure about whether the person at the door is who they claim to be – for example a council worker – take their name and shut and lock the door while you call their employer to check. Legitimate callers will not mind you doing this.
  • If in doubt, keep them out.
  • When you answer the front door, ensure no rear or side doors and windows have been left insecure. It may be that the caller is trying to distract you while someone else sneaks in.

DCI Miller added: “If you believe you have been targeted by a bogus caller, whether you have been taken in or not, it is important you get in touch with us straight away.

“The sooner you call, the more likely it is we will be able to get forensic evidence that will help us to catch those responsible.

“Try to remember as much as you can about the person who came to the door, including what they were wearing and write it down.

“The more detail you can remember the better.”

Anyone with information is asked to call 101, quoting crime reference number 2154808 of December 1.

Alternatively, you can call Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555111.

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