Framlingham: Homeowner thwarts bogus caller

Bogus caller thwarted

Bogus caller thwarted - Credit: EDP/ Archant © 2003

Police have recommended the actions of a Suffolk homeowner as an example of how to deal with bogus calls.

The Framlingham resident, who wished to remain anonymous, thwarted a mystery caller’s late night attempt to obtain personal information over the phone.

He said: “The call came at about 1.20am. We have caller ID on the phone, which said the number had been withheld.

“A man on the other end identified himself as a police officer and gave his surname followed by a four digit number.

“He said there had been a number of calls from our number, and that he wanted to make sure everything was alright. He then asked me to confirm my address.

“I asked him to tell me what he thought my address was, seeing as he had already found my number. At that moment, he hung up.

“The phone rang again half an hour later but I didn’t bother answering it.”

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The homeowner called Suffolk police the following morning to explain what had happened and how he had dealt with the call. His actions have since been commended by a constabulary spokesman, who said: “This was the right thing to do.

“If you are unsure, take the caller’s details and tell them you will phone back. Hang up, find the relevant number for the organisation they claimed to be from and check if that person works there.

“Be extremely cautious. Genuine callers will be happy to leave their details. Never give personal information over the phone without knowing who you are talking to.

“If you have any doubts, take their information and call the organisation they claim to be from.”

The homeowner said he has received no similar calls since. He added: “I’m so used to cold callers that I’ve become quite short with them over the phone.

“In this case I was misled for an instant. The caller identified himself with a name and a number.

“It’s difficult to tell his motive –whether he wanted me to answer the door later, I don’t know.

“My concern is for more vulnerable people who might get upset and actually let someone in without checking their identity.”

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