The ‘Feeling Good Theatre Company‘, a group linked to the West Yorkshire Playhouse in Leeds, visited our Holmfirth group at the end of April to perform a series of witty, informative and thought-provoking sketches on the theme of distraction crime.
This is where criminals deflect our natural suspicions about unsolicited visits or phone calls through a wide range of tactics. While our first reaction may well be “I’d never fall for that!”, the theatre group really opened our eyes to how devious and convincing this form of trickery can be, and how the con-artists’ strategies often target older people. Between sketches we were given brief explanations of the tactics featured and advice on how to deal with each situation.
The Holmfirth members were glowing in their praise for the performances, and we hope to have the group back again in the future.
Key messages were:
- Always double check someone’s ID. Ring the published phone number of an organisation/company to check on a caller/visitor, rather than trusting one given to you at the time. A genuine caller will not mind waiting while you make checks to satisfy yourself.
- “When it sounds too good to be true, it usually is!”
- “Callers at the door? No appointment, no entry!” (e.g. Someone claiming to be from the gas or water board with a local “emergency” to deal with can wait outside while you call the company’s published number for confirmation).
- “Remember, a lady can be shady!” Don’t assume that a female caller is honest.
- Be very wary of any calls or visitors concerning your bank or bank cards. Again, always look up the published phone number to check, rather than trusting one given. Never give complete details about your bank account or cards over the phone. (The group’s sketch told a very plausible tale of an “urgent” phone call from “a Police officer” about your account having been compromised, and you being asked to ring a given number, wrongly said to be your bank, to confirm certain details with a view to protecting your account… All designed to instill a sense of panic and urgency, so your normal straight thinking is disrupted.)
- “It’s OK to make up a story to avoid buying at the door.”
- “Just say no and away they’ll go!”
More about ‘Feeling Good Theatre Company’ can be found at: