How to beat the bogus caller
Most people who call to your home will be genuine. But sometimes, people turn up unannounced with the intention of tricking their way into your home. They are known as ‘bogus callers’. Their only aim is to get into homes by distracting people so they can steal their money or valuables. You should always be aware when someone you don’t know calls at your door.
Living in our neighbourhoods we want you to keep safe at all times.
Remember to let us know if you have or know of anyone who has been approached by someone they think was a ‘bogus caller’.
Bogus callers come in all ages, shapes and sizes. They may be dressed smartly or claim to be from the council, police, health organisations or gas, water or electricity companies. They may be men, women or even children.
They may ask for a drink of water or to wash their hands. Some may be looking for a lost pet. In fact, people may use any story. They often use props like an identity card or wear overalls with a company logo. If you are expecting a caller, remember still to check their identification very carefully.
Any official visitors should always arrange an appointment with you beforehand. If you are not expecting then and are alone when they call ask them to call back when you have someone with you.
There are some tips below on what you should do to protect yourself and your family.
• Keep your front and back doors locked, (with keys taken out) even when at home
• Before answering door stop and think are you expecting anyone? Look through a spy hole or window to identify the caller.
• Arrange a password with organisation you are expecting to call.
• If you open the door put the door chain or door bar on fist before opening the door, and keep it on whilst talking to the caller; (Normally when the door is shut and locked, the bar or chain can be left off to get out in an emergency).
• Check their identity card carefully even if the caller has a pre-arranged appointment (close the door whilst doing this); look up the phone number of who the caller represents in the phone directory; ring to verify the caller's identity; do not use a phone number on the identity card, as this may be fake.
• If in doubt, keep them out.
• If you let someone into your home even if you know them and you feel uncomfortable make excuses and leave. Get help from a neighbour or a friend and ask them to come back to house with you.
Remember - crime against older people is rare and any one of us could become a victim of a ‘bogus caller’.
Please be careful at all times.
Most gas, water and electricity companies and some councils or housing organisations now have a password system for older and vulnerable customers. Customers give the company a word which is confidential to them and the company. When the representative calls, they will be expected to tell the customer the password to prove they are genuine. Many companies offer special services to help you even more.
Please contact your gas, water and electricity suppliers, or other utilities to find out more.Alternatively you can also contact your neighbourhood office or help. If you wish to get some further advice on home safety you can also contact your local Police Crime Prevention Officer o find out whatinitiatives are being carried out in your area.If in doubt, keep them out