Warning after bogus caller thefts
Police in central Scotland have said householders should not let unexpected or unknown callers into their home - even if they show identification.
The warning comes after a recent spate of bogus caller thefts in Falkirk, Dunblane and Bannockburn.
In one incident, a 70-year-old man lost cash after callers posing as council workers came into his home.
Central Scotland Police said the elderly and disabled were most at risk of these type of distraction thefts.
Community safety officer Pc Derek Mitchell said: "These people pick on the more vulnerable in society.
"The message is don't let anyone into your house who you're not expecting or if you don't know - even if they have IDs."
Police often see a rise in the number of bogus caller incidents after the clocks change as it gives thieves the cover of darkness and people are more likely to be at home.
Distraction or doorstep thefts usually involve two callers, often with one hidden out of sight.
Pc Mitchell advised that those who were worried about the threat could set up a password system with the council or utility companies.
Workers then have to give the password as part of the identification process.
The officer added: "It's difficult, because many elderly people are often quite happy to let people in, as they always have done.
"But very few people from utility companies or the council will turn up on spec to do work at your house, unless it's a dire emergency.
"Just don't open the door and don't let them in."