Essex Police ‘Beware of alarm cold callers’

POLICE have urged the public to be wary of bogus cold-callers trying to sell burglar alarms on the doorstep or on the phone.

Residents throughout the county have reported receiving unsolicited telephone calls from companies who say that crime is on the increase and that they are at risk.

The fake or sometimes real companies offer to install a free or cheap alarm and claim they are working with government agencies or the police. This is not true.

Simple advice has been given stating ‘if considering fitting a burglar alarm, contact local crime reduction officers who will give free advice and put you in touch with regulated alarm installation companies.’

Uttlesford crime reduction officer Peter Caulfield added: “Most people who have been contacted by these companies have had the good sense not to allow them to visit their home but on the odd occasion where work has been carried out, the cost to the customer has been exorbitant.

“One man was charged �3000 in installation and monitoring costs. The callers may block their own telephone number so they can’t be called back.

“However, if any interest is shown in their product they will persistently call and badger the homeowner, particularly if they find out they are elderly.”

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“Do not buy a security alarm from a cold caller over the telephone or at the door and don’t agree to a visit.”

Mr Caulfield said that all victims should contact Trading Standards. But he welcomed calls from people who want advice on keeping themselves and their property secure.

Call 0300 333 4444.