If in doubt, keep them out!
The majority of people who call at your home will be genuine. However sometimes people can turn up unannounced with the intention of gaining access to your property by tricking you into letting them into your home. This tactic is known as ‘distraction burglaries’ or ‘bogus callers’, whose only aim is to gain access into your home to steal money or valuables. You should always be cautious when someone calls at the door that you do not know!
A bogus caller may not look like a criminal as they can often be smartly dressed or even wear a trusted uniform for example the police, gas, electric or claim to be from the water board. A bogus caller can be very convincing and persuasive, you must also be aware that this crime is not only committed by men but also women or even children.
They often use fake identity cards or wear clothing that is branded with a company logo. If you’re not expecting a visit from someone that you do not know remember to always check their identification very carefully. Always use a door chain before opening the door and check their credentials via the gap, never undo the chain and never engage in conversation until you have verified their details. If you’re in doubt remember a genuine caller will never be offended by you asking to double check their identification with their head office. Don’t leave the door ajar or even on the security latch, always close the door fully making sure it’s locked when leaving the front door to double check credentials. If you’re home alone consider calling a relative or neighbour who lives nearby as a safety precaution.
Do not keep large amounts of cash at your home. Expensive items shouldn’t be on display or easily viewed through a front facing window. Never agree to work being done by someone who is just passing or take their word for it that work needs doing. If you believe that work does need to be undertaken, get a least three quotes from trusted companies or ask for referrals from a friend or relative.
We’ve put together 4 top tips to avoid being a victim of distraction burglary…
1, Use your door viewer, or look through your front window to see who is there.
2, Don’t open it if you feel anxious.
3, Always ask for their ID, Genuine trades people should carry photo ID.
4, Never keep large amounts of cash in your home.
More information is available via the Metropolitan Police website.