Police Warn Of New Burglary Method

Residents also warned about computer scam

Police in Merton Park have warned about a new burglary tactic which may be being used in the area.

A lone woman will approach a house and throw what appears to be a squash ball or pebbles at a window. When they get no response they assume the property is unoccupied and will walk off.

About five minutes later a team of three men arrive and proceed to enter into the property.

Police said they thought the "team" may be of South American appearance, but of course, this method of establishing whether a home is occupied or not, might be used by any burglar.

A spokesman said: "Whilst increased vigilance is always to be encouraged around this time of year, this particular method is one which we wish to bring to your attention.

"As ever, if you have any information, do please contact us via either mertonpark.SNT@met.police.uk, or on 0208 721 2451. If life is endangered, or a crime is being committed 'now', always ring 999."

And in another scam, Merton Council is warning residents to be wary of con artists falsely claiming to be from Microsoft and offering to "fix" computer problems following a spate of cyber scams in the borough.

The council's trading standards team is keen to alert unsuspecting residents of bogus phone calls made by the conmen trying to gain access to their computer in order to install viruses or spyware.

Another trick up their sleeves is to ask for credit card information to "validate the software" and then take money from the account without permission. As well as the risk of exposure to fraud, victims of this scam also have the additional expense of having their computer wiped and rebuilt to delete any rogue software.

For more information, visit www.merton.gov.uk/scams. If you are concerned you have been a victim of a scam, call Consumer Direct on 08454 04 05 06

December 14, 2011