Don't let a bogus caller ruin the festive season for a loved one and remind elderly and vulnerable family and friends of safety advice.
The fourth message of Northumbria Police's 12 messages of Christmas aims to help protect our elderly communities from bogus callers.
A bogus caller is someone who calls at a house unnanounced and claims to be someone they are not. Their intention is to convince the occupant to let them into the property, once inside they will often try and cause a distraction so they can steal valuable items without the occupant realising.
Bogus callers often claim to be from the council, utility companies or even the police. They may also offer to carry out work in the garden or on the house but charge extortionate prices.
Chief Inspector Sarah Pitt said: "We know bogus callers target elderly and vulnerable people and we're urging people to look out for their elderly family, friends and neighbours this Christmas - make sure they're aware not everyone is who they claim to be, even if they seem convincing which often many of these callers are. A genuine caller 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.
"Callers who turn up unannounced, whether they're claiming to be carrying out work or selling something, should always be treated with caution. 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. Taking time to pass this information on to someone you think could potentially targeted could help prevent them from being a victim."