Suspicious caller prompts warning

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A SUDBURY woman is warning elderly residents after she was tricked into paying for a palm reading by a woman claiming to be a gypsy, writes Elliot Pinkham.

Hayley Stewart, of Weavers Lane, answered her door on Wednesday morning to an unfamiliar blonde-haired woman in her 50s.

“At first, I couldn’t hear what she was saying, other than she described herself as a gypsy,” said Miss Stewart, who lives with her partner and two young children.

“She asked me to give her my left hand and started pointing out ‘life lines’ and ‘heart lines’.”

The woman, who had no identification card, made claims about Miss Stewart’s future, including exam success for her children, financial windfalls, relationships and health.

“She then gave me two glass stones, one of which she claimed would bring me seven years good luck and closed my hand,” said Miss Stewart. “Then she asked for £3 for the reading and £2 for the stones.

“It was weird and I wondered what she was doing, she never asked if I wanted it done but I felt like I had to pay her. She got very close when she was speaking to me and kept leaning into the doorway – it was uncomfortable.”

The woman was described as around 5ft 2in tall and of large build. She was wearing a long flowery skirt, red knitted jacket and a shoulder bag.

Miss Stewart said a neighbour had been approached by the same woman last year.

“There are quite a few elderly people near me and I want to warn them,” she said.

Babergh crime reduction officer Verity Line said people should take extra care when answering their doors to an unknown caller.

“If you have a door chain or viewer, then use this to identify who the person is before considering if you will open the door,” she said.

“People who are trying to sell you something can be intimidating, so identifying who they are before you open the door means you can simply state you are not interested.”

Miss Line added that a friend or neighbour could deal with unexpected calls to the homes of vulnerable people.

“Alternatively, you could ask the caller to return when someone else is at home with you that you trust,” she added.

“If you have a suspicious person knock at your door, then you should call police on 101 – it could mean that you stop someone else from potentially being scammed.”