Police have issued a warning to residents in Knaresborough and Harrogate after a number of elderly and vulnerable people were targeted by bogus callers.
The callers claim to represent a company who offer to install a security system into people’s homes which they can use to call them in an emergency instead of contacting the police
Representatives of the company have told residents that the police will not respond if they call 999 as they are so busy and get a lot of hoax calls.
Instead, they claim to offer an alternative service which involves them contacting the police on behalf of the resident if they have their security device installed in their home.
This is causing officers great concern as the police will always respond in an emergency situation.
PC Lucy Ray, of Knaresborough Safer Neighbourhood Patrol, said:
I would like to reassure all residents that in the event of an emergency the police should be their first point of contact. We will always respond if you need us.
Residents need to be aware that this company seem to be contacting people in the Knaresborough and Harrogate areas and while they may prove to be legitimate, the way in which they are selling their product is wrong.
If you have any concerns about any callers to your home either in person or over the phone, politely but firmly tell them you are not interested and contact the police.
A 75-year-old woman was contacted by the company on Wednesday 12 October 2011 and when she realised that the call may not have been genuine she contacted the police.
It has since emerged that a number of other elderly and vulnerable residents have been approached in similar circumstances and officers are urging the public to be on their guard.
PC Ray added:
It is always important to be wary of anyone you don’t know calling at your home or contacting you over the phone.
Always check their ID and never give any personal data, particularly your bank details.
I would also urge anyone with any elderly or vulnerable neighbours or family members to make them aware of the dangers of bogus callers.
Anyone who would like to report and suspicious callers to their home can contact North Yorkshire Police on 0845 60 60 24 7.
Alternatively, Crimestoppers can be contacted anonymously on 0800 555 111.
For more information about protecting against bogus callers visit the North Yorkshire Police website www.northyorkshire.police.uk/boguscallers