Warning over bogus callers

Local people have been warned to be on their guard against bogus callers offering to carry out work at their homes.

The warning was made by Sinn Féin councillor Patricia Logue who said she is aware of several incidents where individuals called at houses offering to carry out cheap maintenance work and later presented the householder with a huge repair bill.

The Brandywell councillor said; “With the good weather over the past few days many people in Derry have been out working in the gardens at their homes and doing bits of DIY around the house.

“Unfortunately there are those out there in our society who will also see this an opportune time to call at homes, particularly of elderly residents, under the guise of offering to do gardening work, resurfacing driveways and fixing guttering etc. and will then simply attempt to rip them off financially.

“In some cases we have seen people being pressurised into handing over extortionate amounts of money for the smallest of jobs.”

Colr. Logue advised people to ask anyone calling at their door offering to carry out for identification.

“I would call upon people in Derry to be on their guard. There are a number of steps that people can take to ensure the callers are genuine.

“If people are in doubt they should request to see identification, furthermore they can secure the door with a chain before answering the door. Alternatively if the caller is genuine, they will be able to provide a phone number and business address for the person to call to make sure they are genuine,” she said.

Colr. Logue said she did not want to scare anyone with her warning but added that people should be on their guard.

“There is an old adage which states ‘prevention is better than a cure’ so I am calling upon people to play their part in reducing such incidents by taking a few small measures as outlined,” she said.

The PSNI also issued a warning recently reminding homeowners to keep sheds, outbuildings, and gates locked during the summer months and to ensure that gardening equipment is locked up after use.