Police release warning amid fake roofing scams

Police in Dumfries and Galloway are warning householders to be on their guard after a bogus caller was found operating last weekend.

Three houses in the east were all visited by a male who said he needed access to the houses to check for damp and leaks. Fears have now been raised that such conmen could move west over time.

One description of the man is that he was about 5’3” tall, had ginger hair and a beard and wore a baseball cap. He spoke with an English accent and was driving a white van with North West Roofing on the side.

The man was refused entry to some of the houses, but did gain entry to three of them, walking around under the pretence of checking for damp or leaks. At this stage nothing has been reported stolen.

Constable Alan Gribbon, crime reduction, said: “This spate of calls should serve to remind everyone about the care required when thinking about letting anyone into your home.

“Some of the householders quite rightly refused entry to this man as he had no identification and he was clearly cold calling on the pretence of searching for leaks or damp. Sadly these bogus callers can be very persuasive though and they often manage to gain entry. Never let anyone into your home whom you don’t know if they cannot provide identification as to who they are, and a valid reason for why they require access. If in doubt, call the company that the caller is from if they have identification. If still in doubt call the police on 101 and we will happily check them out. Genuine callers are never offended by being asked for identification, and are happy to provide it. They understand the dangers of being taken for a bogus caller.

“Thankfully at this time it appears that nothing has been stolen in this latest spate, however we are still appealing for help to identify this man and it may well be that he has been in someone’s house who is unaware that he is a bogus caller, and may even have had property stolen. The houses targeted were occupied by elderly people, two of them ladies in their 80s, who rightly refused entry to this man.

Anyone looking for advice or assistance with how to deal with bogus callers should call Police Scotland on 101 and ask to speak to their local Crime Reduction Officer who will make an appointment to call and offer suitable home security advice.