Police issue bogus workmen warning

Police are appealing for information.
Police are appealing for information.

Police are warning the public to remain vigilant following a series of bogus workmen and cold caller incidents across the Lothians this month.

Between April 1 and 17 a total of 17 reports have been made to local officers in East Lothian, Midlothian and West Lothian where, in particular, elderly members of the community were targeted.

In Midlothian, three incidents were reported, including one at an address in Woodburn Bank, Dalkeith on Friday, April 12.

The female resident at the property received a telephone call from a male claiming to be from Sky Television, who then requested some of her personal information. However, the woman refused and ended the call before contacting police.

A further three reports were made in East Lothian over this time, which officers continue to investigate.

In one of these incidents, two men approached a 75-year-old woman in Osborne Court, Cockenzie, and offered to carry out work on her garden shed for a three-figure sum of cash.

The woman agreed and handed over a small deposit to the men for materials, on the understanding they would return the following day. However, neither man appeared and the matter was then reported to police.

During the first three weeks of April, 11 calls to police in West Lothian were made after bogus workmen called at a number of addresses within the county.

While these incidents are not believed to be linked, police are asking communities to take the appropriate precautions and ensure they do not fall victim to a similar offence.

Chief Inspector Amanda McGrath said: “In the past few weeks, the issue of bogus workmen and cold callers has proven to be a real concern for our communities across the Lothians, particularly elderly members of the public.

“Often these criminals will attend at your door and offer to carry out a range of maintenance work for an agreed fee. However, the costs then increase or the work is done to a poor standard, or not at all.

“The public are urged to ensure any company or individual carrying out work on their home is genuine by requesting to see identification or credentials and if not completely satisfied then contact police.

“We would also like to remind people never to give out bank details or personal information over the telephone or online and only pay for goods or services through reputable channels.

“Anyone wishing more information on keeping safe from bogus workmen or cold callers should contact their local policing team.”