Crime, antisocial behaviour and nuisance Crime prevention

Bogus callers

What is a "bogus caller"?
Most people who call at 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 'distraction burglars' or 'bogus callers'.   

Lock, Stop, Chain and Check
If someone you don't know calls at your door follow these simple steps:

  • Lock: Keep your front and back doors locked, even when at home.
  • Stop: Before you answer, stop and think if you are expecting anyone. Check that you have locked any back doors and taken the key out.  Look through the spyhole or the window to see who it is.
  • Chain: If you decide to open the door, put the door chain or bar on first.  Keep the bar or chain on while you are talking to the person on the doorstep. 
  • Check:  Ask for and carefully check their identity card, even if they have a prearranged appointment (all genuine callers will carry one). Do they look like the person on the card? Is the name the same one as that on your letter? Close the door while you do this. If you are not expecting them and they have not shown you an identity card, don't let them in.

Any doubts - keep them out!
Bogus callers may be smartly dressed and claim to be from the council, the police, gas, water or electricity companies. They can be convincing and persuasive.   They often use 'props' like an identity card or wear overalls with a company logo.

If you have any doubts about the caller, especially if they came unannounced, tell them to call back later when someone can be with you. You can also tell them to contact you by letter to arrange a more convenient time. 

Report bogus callers
If you think a bogus caller has called at your door, report it to the
police immediately - dial 999 and tell them what has happened.
Try to give the police a description of the person.

Knock Knock website - tackling doorstep crime
The 'Knock Knock, who's there?' website is a resource designed for members of the public and partner agencies involved in community safety. It is packed with useful information to help in the fight against doorstep crime which includes distraction burglary, bogus officials and rogue trader crimes. The site is easy to use and features videos, an interactive quiz and downloadable resources.


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