Police urge public to be vigilant following Ipswich distraction burglary


Police are urging people to be vigilant after a woman in her 70s was the victim of rogue trader scam in Ipswich.

The distraction burglary occurred at around 1.45pm on Friday, June 23, at an address in Rectory Road, and the scammer left with several hundred pounds in cash.

The elderly victim received a call at the door from a man who claimed to be a builder and he offered to repair some damage to a wall outside her home. She declined the work and the man left.

Within a few minutes, a second man rang the doorbell, claiming he worked for both Suffolk police and the county council.

He said he was investigating a man believed to be attempting to scam local residents and requested to see any bank notes the victim kept in her home to take down the serial numbers for reference.

He left the property with several hundred pounds of cash.

The first suspect is described as white, slim with a slight tan. He is approximately 30-35 years old, 5ft 8ins, and has short, brown hair.

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He was wearing an off-white t-shirt with black jeans.

The second suspect is described as white, around 30 years old, of skinnier build and shorter in height than the first man.

He was wearing a white t-shirt with blue and green colours across the chest, and black trousers. He was also holding a clipboard.

Anyone with information, or who believes they may know the identity of the men, are urged to contact Suffolk police on 101 quoting reference 43682/17.

Suffolk police has reminded the public that all officers hold identification, and would never call on residents requesting they hand over cash in this manner.

The force issued this advice to avoid becoming a victim of rogue traders:

• Lock your back door before answering the front door.

• Never agree to have work done by somebody who has knocked on your door.

• Use a spy hole, chain or window to have a look at the caller before answering the door and keep the chain on. If you do not recognise the caller then speak through the closed and locked door.

• Always ask for proof of identity. Take it from the person (through the letterbox) and read it carefully before deciding what to do.

• Never use a phone number provided by the caller as it could be a false number to an accomplice.

• Never pay for work before it is completed. Always agree a final price in writing and get an invoice and receipt as proof of payment.

• Do not accept any offer to drive you to the bank to withdraw money or give them your bank details.

• If you need work done, then visit www.checkatrade.com or contact your council’s trusted trader service.

For further advice on keeping yourself safe against rogue traders, click here.