Window cleaner warns over bogus workmen

AS bogus utilities workmen continue to target homes in the region an Ipswich window cleaner has warned people to always check for identification from people in his trade as well.

AS bogus utilities workmen continue to target homes in the region an Ipswich window cleaner has warned people to always check for identification from people in his trade as well.

Mark Ryder, of R&R Window Cleaning, said he was amazed that while people are being more vigilant in checking the validity of visitors from the water or gas boards, they are still willing to let strangers on to their properties with ladders to clean windows.

"I was sitting at home on Saturday and a couple of blokes knocked on my door to see if I wanted my windows cleaned," the 39-year-old said.

"I could see, especially if you're elderly and feel vulnerable, how easy it would be to say yes and give the go ahead to have access to your property.

"Nobody seems to ask for ID from window cleaners even though they don't know who they are.

"They are letting complete strangers onto their properties."

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Mr Ryder said the need to check for identification from window cleaners was perhaps more imperative than for other potentially bogus callers as they have the means to check in all windows and get into the property if these are left open.

"People are hardly ever in when window cleaners call and they've got ladders to get to top windows, which are often left open," he said.

"The other day I was doing a house and there was a small window open upstairs. There was a purse inside full of credit cards and I thought if someone wanted to, they could get it and disappear before the police could be called."

Mr Ryder always carries identification with him and shows it to all his customers when he arrives. The same rules apply to his staff and he will not employ anyone he doesn't know and trust in advance.

He has also cut down on door knocking to drum up business, relying more on advertising and word of mouth, in the hope of creating a good, legitimate name for his company.

His advice to people is that they should always ask for identification from window cleaners, as they would from anyone else offering to do work for them.

"People should check who they are letting on to their property," he warned. "People are so vulnerable from bogus callers.

"It needs to be drummed in time and time again – ask for ID. Check who you are letting in."

n Mr Ryder's words of caution echo those of the police. If you are in any doubt as to the identity of callers to your home, keep the door shut and make your own checks before letting them in to your house or on to your property.

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