Community crime fighter issues warning about bogus callers disguised as medics
At least three residents in Willesden have been targeted by tricksters
Distraction burglars are targeting elderly residents in Willesden by pretending to be a medic needing to inspect their medication, a senior crime fighter has warned.
Tony Antoniou MBE, chairman of Brent Safer Neighbourhood team, has issued a stark warning after three residents including an 80-year-old woman was visited by the bogus callers in the last few weeks.
According to Mr Antoniou, who was recognised for his vehement anti-crime work in the Queen’s honour list, one 80-year-old victim in Churchill Road was targeted a year after her husband was duped by a similar trickster.
He said: “We need to make everybody aware of what is going on; these people are pretending to be from an authoritative source and inviting themselves into resident’s homes.
“Once inside they ask for a glass of water or to use the toilet in so they can explore their victim’s the house and steal money and valuables.
“These people are vulnerable; especially those who live alone and they are playing on that vulnerability.”
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The suspects have been described an Asian and an Eastern European woman who purports to be a worker at doctors surgeries in the Willesden area.
Mr Antoniou added: “They present themselves as personable and friendly to gain access to someone’s home.
“Always make sure you ask for identification, if people are who they say they are they will be able to prove it and will expect you to ask.”
Tanya James, Practise Manager at St Andrews Medical Centre, on High Road, Willesden, has reiterated Mr Antoniou’s warning.
She said: “Nobody from the NHS will ever cold call a patient, if a doctor is going to visit a patient they will always make sure they tell them first.”
She added: “Under no circumstances should you let anybody in without prior confirmation.”
Detective Inspector Barry Loader from Brent Police, issued a similar warning earlier this month.
He said: “We urge residents to be vigilant when answering the door to people they don’t know.”