Sunday, 2 March 2014

Bogus callers

Hearing an unexpected knock on the door anytime of the day or night can be an uncomfortable experience.
It can be even more worrying, when you open the door, and the person who’s standing there is a complete stranger to you.
We’ve all opened the door to someone from a utility company or a door step seller, but how do you know these people are who they say they are?
Be aware of who you answer the door to. Bogus callers sometimes work in pairs so make sure that when you go to answer the front door, the back door is locked to stop anybody getting in.
If you do let someone into your home, don’t leave them on their own

Did you know?

  • In 4% of burglaries, thieves use a false pretence to gain entry to a property 
Most people who call at your home will be from a reputable company and will call for a genuine reason. Some people turn up at your door unannounced, with the intention of tricking their way into your home. They are known as ‘distraction burglars’ or ‘bogus callers’. They’ve also been known to try and con money out of you and steal any valuables that you have in your property.
Bogus callers come in all shapes and sizes, varying from smartly dressed ‘business’ people pretending to be from a utility company, a doorstep seller, a tradesman or someone collecting for bogus charities.
If you are living with housemates, elderly or young relatives, make sure they know what to do if they suspect a bogus caller is at the door. Let them know that they don’t have to let someone in if they don’t want to.  

Do I have to let someone in if they’re at my door?

If you are in any doubt, keep them out. Don’t get pressured into doing something that you are unhappy with (that includes letting people into your home).
If the caller wants to come in and you feel uncomfortable, you can ask them to call back at a later date when someone will be at home with you. A genuine caller won’t mind calling back at a more convenient time when someone else can be at home.

How can I check whether the caller at my front door is genuine or not?

Ask for the person’s identification card and check it carefully. If you’re still not happy, ask the caller to wait outside while you call the company they say they’re from.
If you still have the person’s ID card, don’t use the number that appears on there, as the number could be fake. Find a number from the phone book, or off an old bill and call the company that way. Ask the company if this person is a member of staff, and if they’re meant to be in your area at this time. Someone from a genuine company won’t mind you doing this, and if you ask them to come back at a later time they should be more than willing to do so.
If you are suspicious of anyone calling at your house, then please contact the police using the non-emergency number 101. if someone refuses to leave your doorway and continues to try and enter your home, or you feel threatened or intimidates then call the police on 999. By alerting the police you could prevent someone else from falling for a similar scam.
Remember, before you answer the door, follow the ‘Lock, Stop, Chain and Check’ procedure.