Those who are registered with OWL (www.owl.co.uk) will have seen this warning from Hillingdon Neighbourhood Watch, but we feel that everyone should be alerted to the dangers of accepting services from strangers.

Dear Watch Member,
Be aware that opportunists and criminals can take advantage of the elderly and vulnerable who are self-isolating.
Anyone being offered "kindness" by cold callers by way of running errands, collecting prescriptions and doing shopping should not accept services from strangers who may ask for cash up front, a credit card and its PIN, or gain trust simply to execute a more elaborate scam e.g. to access savings.

Most people offering to help elderly people in their neighbourhood are genuinely kind, honest and caring.  The elderly self-isolating will be stuck for food, supplies and someone to talk to if they don't have friends, family or a nearby neighbour that they already know.

If everyone makes contact now with their nearest elderly neighbours who they already know and gives them their phone number and offer of help for when they need it, it will reduce the chances of them accepting help from a stranger who may turn out to be an opportunist, confidence trickster and thief.

Thank you for supporting Neighbourhood Watch and your local community during this period of uncertainty.