REPORTS of a man erroneously collecting for mental health in the Castlederg area has led to renewed appeals for the public to be wary of unknown callers to their homes. According to police a person was reportedly acting in a suspicious manner in the Derg area on Wednesday of last week (November 14).
Having called at a number of local homes, the man was said to be particularly interested in obtaining direct debit payments and may have been asking for bank details.
“It’s concerning that someone could be doing this in the Castlederg area,” Sinn Féin councillor, Maolíosa McHugh said.
“The generous spirit of people in this area is such that they would be inclined to donate to people collecting for charities and good causes. The best advice is: Never give out bank details when someone calls at the door and always ask for identification details.”
Reiterating that advice, a spokesperson for the PSNI said legitimate callers will be happy to provide ID.
“If anyone calls to your door either collecting for charity or any other business and you do not know them or you do not expect them – do not open the door,” they said.
“Ask to see identification and credentials.
“Those with legitimate reasons for calling will have identification, details of the organisation on whose behalf they are calling and a contact number that you can ring to verify collections or visits in the area.
“Legitimate callers are happy to provide this information and will understand some peoples’ concerns/suspicions. If you are still not happy, contact police. We are only too happy to check out these callers.
“Police would also advise never to give sensitive information such as bank account numbers etc to people you do not know or trust.
“If you know any elderly or vulnerable members of the community please check with them as unfortunately these people often fall victim to this type of crime.
“Even if you are not living in the Castlederg area this advice is relevant as this type of criminal likes to travel.”