Although we get our fair share of bogus officials targeting mainly the elderly and vulnerable residents in the District, the following incident is a somewhat unusual ploy which may fool even the most alert if unaware of it.
Last Sunday evening a man called at a ground floor flat in the Loughton area which was occupied by an elderly couple. Although disabled, the man of the house is extremely alert and unlikely to have been tricked too easily.
Prior to knocking on the door it transpires that caller had cut the victim’s telephone line outside the house. When the victim answered the door, the caller explained that he was a BT engineer and was calling to repair the line which was faulty. The caller produced some ID which, of course, was fake.
The victim would not have allowed the bogus engineer in at this point but the engineer pointed out to him that he could check he was genuine by checking his phone. When the victim checked his phone of course, he found the line was dead. This made him believe the caller was genuine and he allowed him in. Even if the victim had thought to check the caller out with BT at this point he couldn’t because the line had been cut.
Having got into the house the caller resorted to the usual modus operandi. Before moving away from the front door to check the phones in the company of the victim, he pretended to close the front door but actually left it ajar for his accomplice to come in and search the house whilst the victim was kept busy by the caller.
On this occasion, the fact that the telephone line was dead was enough additional circumstance to convince the householder that the caller was genuine.
If you are faced with a similar situation regarding a telephone fault that you were unaware of, don’t let the caller in! Use your mobile phone or a neighbours phone to contact your service provider and make an appointment for one of their engineers to call
Crime Reduction Officer
Epping Forest Police District
0300 3334444 ext 319383
Also, an alert from the Office of Fair Trading:
A Company trading as "SAS Fire & Security Systems Limited" has had its operating licence revoked due to dubious sales methods.
Do not allow anyone claiming to work for this Company access to your premises.