Fake cold callers target those in need during coronavirus pandemic

POLICE have warned residents to be vigilant as criminals are posing as council officials or NHS staff to gain entry to private homes or make money by charging for errands.

Dorset Council will not send anyone to your home to offer services such as shopping or collecting prescriptions, without making a pre-arranged appointment to visit and carry out the service and their volunteers will never enter your home. Similarly the NHS is not carrying out house to house visits.

Police are therefore advising residents to say no to cold callers.

Although it is difficult whilst maintaining social distancing, you still need to check the ID of anyone calling at your home.  Ask them to hold it to a window so that you can view it and if you are still unsure, please ring the organisation to check that the caller is legitimate – use the number on a bill or from the phone book, not a number the visitor provides.

Do not allow anyone into your home unless it is an emergency. Do not give your bank card to anyone offering to do shopping for you – most shops will allow you to make payment directly to them when you place your order. 

Volunteers are advised not to take credit or debit cards from the person they are running errands for.

If you need help with essential services because you are unable to get out you can request assistance from your local council. Call Dorset Council on 01305 221000 or email communityresponse@dorsetcouncil.gov.uk

You can also contact volunteers running Lyme Regis Community Support, which is offering help and assistance to those isolating or in need.

You can also contact Cheryl Reynolds on 01297 443814, 07796 074 849 or email cherylreynolds1947@gmail.com; Fran Marsh Williams on 07968 177 663 or email franwilliams62@gmail.com; Grace Herbert on 07834 988 766; or contact Victoria Cottle via Facebook Messenger.

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