Beating the bogus caller
Most people who call at your home will be genuine; however there may be times when an unannounced caller fabricates a story in an attempt to gain access to your home with the intention of stealing your money or valuables. We call these criminals bogus callers or distraction burglars.
You can help to avoid becoming a victim of bogus calling by following a few simple measures:
- If a spy hole isn't an option get into the habit of looking through a window near the door to see who is calling or use an intercom.
- Do not accept packages for neighbours unless they have asked you.
- Do not let strangers in to write messages for neighbours.
- Do not open the door to unexpected visitors until you are satisfied that they are who they say they are.
- Ensure your back door is always locked when answering the front door.
- Do not keep large amounts of money in your home. Be sure a bank or post office holds all the money you don't need that particular week.
- Your utility providers may run password schemes where you choose a password which callers from the company use when they visit. Call up your providers to find out about any such schemes.
- Don't be pressured into opening your door. A closed door is a safe door.
- Remember if you are not expecting someone, then don't answer the door.
You should also be beware of rogue traders:
- They may call at the door and say they are builders working in the area.
- They may say they have noticed you have a tile loose on your roof or your fencing needs replacing.
- They may offer to do the work straight away.
- They might want cash and often offer to take you to the bank. They may overcharge you, not do the work or even make the problem worse.
- They may loosen tiles so that they have to come back again and take more money from you.
This is why it is important not to open the door to anyone you're not expecting. read more about rogue traders.
- Find out more about distraction burglary
- Visit Consumer Direct for information on Doorstep Selling Regulations
- Watch the Office of Fair Trading's Doorstep Selling advert on You Tube.
- For a free smoke alarm, please contact the London Fire Brigade. They will carry out a home fire safety check and fit an alarm and it is free!