Residents across Gwent are urged to remain vigilant following a recent spike in reports of fake pest controllers and tradespeople attempting to gain access to homes and steal items from within.
We are currently investigating a number of similar incidents across the Force area, including in the Bassaleg and Gaer areas, as well as Caerphilly.
The suspects have predominantly targeted vulnerable victims, including the elderly.
In one incident, a 94-year-old woman allowed two men claiming to be pest controllers into her home. They searched the address and left with £500 cash and a gold watch.
Other victims alleged that a man and woman were knocking on various front doors and offering to carry out work in an aggressive and threatening manner.
One suspect has been described as a white male, aged in his 20s, with dark medium-length hair, wearing shorts, white t-shirt and trainers. He was travelling in a silver Ford Focus.
At this time, it is unclear whether these incidents are definitely linked.
Residents are encouraged to ensure doors are locked, and that a chain is used when opening the door to people they do not know.
Please report any information or suspicious behaviour to Gwent Police on 101. You can also direct message us on Facebook or Twitter. Alternatively, contact Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.
How to protect yourself against rogue traders and bogus callers:
- Only use businesses that have been recommended to you by a trusted friend or family member and you can see examples of their work
- Ask for quotes in writing and then follow up by getting another three quotes from independent traders to check that the price quoted is accurate
- Get the address of their company. If possible, visit the premises to check that it exists
- Don’t be fooled by someone who say that they are just working up the street or that they have done work for your neighbour. Some people say this to gain your trust. Ask for specific examples and then follow up to check if what they have said is true
- If someone calls at your home trying to sell you something, don’t let them in and always ask for ID
- Many streets in Gwent are now ‘no cold calling zones’. Talk to the Trading Standards Team in your local council for more information.
Remember traders must give you written notice of your right to 14 days cancellation when agreeing to do work at your home, including work gained from a cold call.