Elderly woman conned out of hundreds of pounds

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News from Northumbria Police

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Residents are being warned to be on their guard after an elderly woman was conned out of hundreds of pounds.

Police have issued advice following the bogus caller incident, which took place on Thursday, May 12, between 10am and 4pm.

Officers were called to the Cramlington home of a 79-year-old woman after a man had knocked at her door offering to paint her fence.

He later returned to her home asking for payment and was given £300 but he had not carried out the work.

The offender is described as a white man, aged 40s to 50s, medium build, brown hair and a local accent. He was wearing a brown suit with a shirt.

Police are now reminding residents not to part with cash when a cold caller comes to the door.

The appeal is part of Operation Strongbow – an initiative which targets doorstep crimes and distraction burglaries.

Cramlington Neighbourhood Inspector Pam Bridges said: “Callers who turn-up unannounced, whether they’re claiming to be carrying out work or selling something, should always be treated with caution.

“It’s a timely reminder for people to be vigilant. Always check identities of workmen and the company’s credentials before agreeing to work being carried out.

“Never agree to work being done by people who cold call at your home, and never leave people alone in the house, even for a few seconds. I’d also advise to move out of sight any cash or valuables.

“Genuine callers will not mind being asked to come back at a different time so their identification can be checked or while arrangements are made for a relative or friend to be present when they return.”

“We would also like to ask members of the community to look out for elderly or vulnerable neighbours who could be victims of this type of crime and report any suspicious people or vehicles they see in their community to police. If in doubt contact officers.”

To report any information about the incident contact Northumbria Police on 101 quoting reference 323 17/05/16 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

More crime prevention advice can be found at www.northumbria.police.uk