People warned to be vigilant about distraction burglaries

People are being warned to be on their guard following a spate of distraction burglaries across Dudley borough in recent weeks.

Dudley Council’s trading standards have been made aware of a number of cases where elderly people have been targeted by bogus callers.

There have been seven cases in the past four weeks including targeting properties in Dudley, Halesowen and Netherton.

Criminals use all kinds of excuses to gain entry into people’s properties, such as either claiming to be from the water board, which no longer exists or pretending to offer gardening services. In a lot of cases, it’s the most vulnerable people in communities who are targeted, including the elderly and vulnerable.

Dudley’s trading standards are now urging people to be vigilant in a bid to protect vulnerable residents. Councillor Nicolas Barlow, cabinet member responsible for trading standards, said:

We don’t want to cause alarm but do want to warn residents to be on their guard against this type of crime.

These criminals have no shame and will do their very best to convince someone they are genuine. It’s shocking that our most vulnerable residents are being targeted and I would stress to our older residents in particular, that in those cases where people are claiming to be from the water board, it is highly likely they are a bogus caller, as the water board no longer exits.

Please do not let people into your home unless you are 100 percent sure you know who they are. People who are genuine will in most cases call ahead to book an appointment first and will carry ID with them.

I’d also urge people to keep an eye on neighbours who are elderly or vulnerable and report any suspicious activity to the police immediately.

People can report these crimes by calling 999 or the dedicated bogus caller hotline on 01384 812045.


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