Elderly woman targeted by bogus callers in Ballycastle


Two men posing as utility company workers have stolen property from an elderly woman at her Ballycastle home.

The pair called at the Atlantic Avenue house around noon on Tuesday and asked the householder if they could check cabling at the rear of her house.

Detective Constable Chris Wilkinson said: “The female escorted the male to the back of the property. The male then left abruptly and when the elderly female went back into her house, she discovered that a sum of money had been taken.

“I would appeal to anyone who may have witnessed anyone behaving suspiciously in the Atlantic Avenue area between 12 noon and 1pm to contact detectives in Coleraine on 101 quoting reference number 560 of 27/09/16.

“Alternatively if someone would prefer to provide information without giving their details, they can contact the independent charity Crimestoppers and speak to them anonymously on 0800 555 111.”

Police have urged everyone to treat any stranger who comes to their door with caution – saying bogus callers use many guises, such as working for an electricity company, the water service, a satellite or cable TV provider, even pretending to have lost a pet.

Once the bogus caller has the householder’s attention, an accomplice will make an attempt to sneak inside without you noticing so he, or she, can steal jewellery, cash, mobile phones and other devices.

Police have also issued a reminder about the Quickcheck number – 0800 013 22 90 to check if a caller is genuine – and said: “The 24-hour freephone service enables householders to challenge and independently verify the identity of anyone calling at their door. The call is free and will be answered by a trained operator. They will take the details of the company, which the caller claims to be visiting on behalf of, then contact the organisation to determine if the caller is genuine. If there is anything suspicious the operator will contact the police directly.”