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Sunday, 31 August 2014

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Alert over 'probation scheme' bogus callers in Carlisle

Doorstep conmen have claimed to be on a “probation scheme” to sell household goods.

Officials have issued a warning after reports of bogus visitors using the false story in a cold-calling scam carried out in Carlisle and Brampton.

A number of residents have been approached on their doorsteps over the last six weeks, with callers “working to a prepared script” claiming to be on some form of “probation rehabilitation scheme” after being released from jail.

Sarah Ward, director of operations at Cumbria Probation Trust, said it operated no such scheme.

She added: “We want to make it completely clear to everyone that the Probation Service does not have people knocking on doors or cold-calling to sell anything to the public.

“We would urge anyone receiving an approach of this kind to politely refuse to purchase anything and to contact the police immediately.”

Sergeant Tony Kirkbride, of Cumbria police, said cold-callers would use “a variety of stories to try and get the public to buy items”.

“We always encourage residents to use caution when someone cold-calls at their door,” he added.

“We would ask people not to feel pressured into agreeing to buy any items and, if they have any concerns, to shut the door and ring the police.”

Officers issued the following tips:

n Keep all doors locked even when you are at home;

n Before you answer the door check through a window or the door viewer to see who it is;

n If you have a door chain or bar, use it;

n Always ask for and check identity cards. If you are unsure, phone the company from a number in a phone book or internet page. Do not use a number on the identity card as this may be false.

Call police on 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

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