Residents are being warned to take extra care following a spate of distraction burglaries in Newton-le-Willows,
It is believed several homes of elderly residents were targeted.
The householder is usually distracted by someone calling at the door while an accomplice gains entry to steal goods and/or cash.
Coun Lisa Preston, cabinet member for community safety, said: “Some burglars prey on people's trust and kindness and use distraction as a means of getting into your home.
“A bogus caller's intention is to trick an occupier to allow them into the property, or create a diversion so an accomplice can sneak in.
“Because elderly or vulnerable people are often targeted, distraction burglary can have a devastating effect - victims can lose their confidence and peace of mind, as well as money and possessions.”
In many cases the person who calls at the door will divert the householder’s attention while an accomplice sneaks into their house to search for valuables.
The top six utility companies no longer cold-call therefore if someone claims to be from one of these, if they are genuine, they will have made a prior appointment.
Tips to keep safe
The message is simple, if in doubt, keep them out.
1. LOCK - keep your front and back doors locked, even when at home
2. STOP - are you expecting anyone?
3. CHAIN - if you decide to open the door, put the chain on first
4. CHECK - ask for the caller's ID and check it by phone