Most people who call at your home will be genuine. But sometimes, people turn up unannounced and try to trick their way into your home to steal your valuables and money. These are known as ‘distraction burglars’ and ‘bogus callers’.
Are you expecting anyone?
Be cautious, representatives from water, gas and electric companies rarely visit without appointments. If there’s a real emergency, police and firefighters are likely to be present.
Lock back doors and windows
Lock your back doors and windows before answering your front door – thieves are known to work in pairs, one entering through the back door while the other knocks at the front.
Use the spyhole and check ID
- Use a spyhole and ask who the caller is through the door first then keep the door on the chain.
- Ask for and check carefully their identification, even if they have a pre-arranged appointment.
- Genuine callers will carry one from the organisation they represent.
- If you are not expecting the caller and they do not carry an ID card, do not let them in.
- To check a caller is genuine you can look up the number in the phone book or a recent bill and check it against the card the caller has given you.
- Do not just ring the number on the card – it may be fake.
- If you have any doubts about whether the caller is genuine, ask them to leave and come back at a time that is convenient to you and when you have had a chance to ask someone to be with you.
Close your door
Never leave your front door unattended. If you need to get something, close the door until you return.
Download Your guide to…Bogus Callers for more help and advice. Print and pass it to elderly family members or neighbours who would benefit from this information.
Report bogus callers
If there is a bogus caller at your door, call police on 999, with details and descriptions of the caller(s).
To give police information on bogus callers, call on 101 or Kent Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.