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Bogus callers – A how to guide to avoid becoming a victim

September 19, 2012, 3:00 pm

Distraction burglars don’t break into your house. They turn up unannounced, they’re convincing and persuasive, and once invited in they can steal your belongings.

So always be on your guard when anyone you’re not expecting – a man, a woman or even a child – turns up at your door.

Our message is clear: If you’re not sure…don’t open the door.

  • Bogus ‘officials’ may be smartly dressed and claim to be from the council, a gas company, health authority or other organisation. Their real purpose is to talk their way into your home to see what they can steal.
  • Bogus ‘dealers’ may offer to buy your antiques, furniture or jewellery, at what seems to be a good price. Chances are they’re trying to trick you into selling something for a lot less than it’s worth.
  • Bogus ‘workmen’ may say that they need to come in to make urgent repairs. Again, they really want to steal from your house. You also need to be careful of callers who offer to make building repairs or tarmac your drive. Often they’ll ask for money in advance; they may even offer to drive you to the bank to withdraw money to pay them. They could then simply disappear, or do a poor job very expensively.

Our advice is to follow the DOORSTEP Code:

  • Don’t open the door without usingthe Doorstep Code.
  • Observe first – always look through a window or door viewer.
  • Only open the door after connecting a chain or limiter.
  • Refuse entry if you are not satisfied.
  • Switch on outside lights when it’s dark to see who’s there.
  • Think ‘thief’ – ask to see an identity card and check it closely. Always call the company your visitor claims to be from, using a       number from the telephone directory or a bill to verify whether the caller is genuine.
  • Ensure strangers are not left alone in your home.
  • Protect yourself – if you are worried ring the police.

Call 999 and tell us what’s happened. And tell your neighbours.

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