How to Beat the Bogus Caller

Crime against older people is rare, but when it happens it can be deeply shocking, especially when it occurs on the doorstep. Most people who call at your home will be genuine. But sometimes callers will turn up unannounced, with their intention of tricking their way into peoples homes. These are known as 'distraction burglars' and 'bogus callers'. They may work alone, in pairs and could be either male or female. Children have sometimes been known to trick their way in to peoples houses.

Every member of the community can help reduce Distraction Burglary.

By following the simple LOCK, STOP, CHAIN, CHECK message, we can all be sure that the people who enter our homes are who they claim to be.

LOCK : Ensure you keep exterior doors locked.

STOP: Before you answer the door, stop and think whether you are expecting anyone.

CHAIN: Put the door bar or chain on. Look through the spyhole or the window to see who it is. Always keep the bar or chain on while you are talking to the person on the doorstep.

CHECK: Ask for and carefully check their ID card, even if they have a pre arranged appointment (all genuine callers will carry one). If you are not expecting them 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 and check it against the card the caller has given you. Do not be tempted to just ring the number on the card, it may be fake. if they claim they are from a utility company, look at a recent bill to check the phone number. Your police Community Safety Unit may be able to provide you with a list of telephone numbers of those utility companies which provide services in your area.

If you have any doubts at all as to 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.


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