Watch out for bogus workmen

A BOGUS workman conned his way into an elderly woman’s home.

The man went to her house in Shirley Grove, Gomersal, at 4pm on October 13, saying he was working for a water company, and told her there was an emergency.

He pressured her into letting him into her home – but when she noticed he did not have any identification she challenged him.

He opened the back door and ran off.

At 7pm that evening a man who said he was from a gas company went to an 81-year-old man’s house in Mirfield asking to check the meter, while a second man is believed to have sneaked into his home and stolen £650 cash.

June Cade, who runs Heckmondwike Older People’s Group and is a member of the tenants’ and residents’ association at New North Road, where a lot of elderly people live, said the crimes were ‘disgusting’.

She said: “We go round and make the residents aware when there are bogus callers and we have newsletters which tell them about it.

“I think it’s disgusting. If people will steal off the elderly they will take off anybody.

“It must be absolutely devastating for them at that age. They can’t go out when it’s dark because they are frightened somebody will attack them, so for it to happen in their own homes is awful. All we can do is warn them but some people of 80 or 90 start to forget things.”

Police are urging people to be vigilant when cold callers visit their homes.

A spokesman said: “Always check the identity of a person calling at your door. Anyone who is from an official body will carry identification which can be checked with their employer. A bona fide caller will be happy for their credentials to be checked, so be wary of anyone who questions the need for you to do so.

“If you have a chain on your door please use it to prevent the caller from being able to see into or get into your home.

“If you are suspicious of any caller do not allow them access to your home and call the police immediately.”