A WARNING has been issued urging the vulnerable and elderly not to open the door to strangers following recent thefts.
Police officers and Age Scotland have spoken out encouraging people to be careful following an incident where a 90-year-old woman had a three-figure sum stolen from her home.
The incident happened at around 6pm on Thursday, June 21 in the Haugh Road area of Inverness.
Police are trying to trace a man described as being up to 5ft 8in tall and between 50 and 60 years old.
He was wearing dark jeans and a dark top and also had dark hair.
Inspector Richard Ross of the preventions and interventions unit said: "Our advice would always to be wary of anyone you do not recognise who appears on your doorstep uninvited.
"They could be offering services such as property maintenance or they may be asking for help of some kind.
"Please remember that it is your door and the choice to open it is yours.
"If you are unsure of who you are speaking to then ask them to show identification to you through a window, find the number of the company in the phone book and check their identity yourself."
He would advise people not to call any numbers given to you by the person at the door and if you are unsure of who you are speaking to then it is best to politely ask them to leave without allowing them access.
He added: "If you have the slightest doubt then do not allow them into your home. A person with a genuine reason to be there should be understanding and not mind you checking who they are.
"They will not insist on getting into your home."
Police in Inverness would also like to encourage residents to watch out for the vulnerable people in their communities and offer support when needed.
Age Scotland were shocked to hear of the incident in Inverness.
Delia Henry, Age Scotland's charity director said: "Sadly older people are often subject to doorstep crimes due to their perceived vulnerability. We all wish this woman a speedy recovery from this trauma and the perpetrator caught.
"We encourage older people, especially when home alone, to not open their doors to people they do not recognise. Doorstep crimes often use manipulation and bullying tactics to coerce the person, risking their safety and finances. If you experience this, please do not answer the door and phone the police in the first instance. If this has happened to you, we encourage you to share your story to help stop this happening to others in your community."
Police in Inverness urge the public to call 101 with any concerns or 999 in an emergency situation.