Never open your door to someone you don’t know or are not expecting, always put your door chain on before opening the door and use your door viewer to see who is there.
Most people who call at your home will be genuine but it’s important to be on your guard and remember there some callers who will turn up unannounced and have the intention of tricking their way into your property to steal.
These people often work in pairs. While one person distracts the homeowner, the other gains entry to your home to steal. Typical scenarios include stories of an emergency gas or water leak.
Distraction burglars may try to trick their way into your home by saying:
- “I’m from the water board.”
- “I’m here to check the pipes.”
- “I need to check the water/turn the water off (I’m laying pipes up the road).”
- “The water is unfit for drinking.”
- “I need to check for damp.”
- “I’ve lost my football/kite/puppy/rabbit.”
- “Can I use your toilet?”
- "My car has broken down. Can I use your phone to call the recovery service?"
- “Can I have a glass of water?”
- "My mother's sick and I need money for a taxi."
- "I've run out of petrol and have left my wallet at home. Can I borrow some money?"
- “Can I borrow a pen/a piece of paper to write a note?”
- “I’m interested in buying books or antiques.”
- “You’ve won a prize in a raffle – can I measure up the prizes/write down your details?”
- “I’m from Age Concern – can I take down the number of your pension book?”
Always be sure the caller is who they say they are before letting them in. All genuine callers will have identification and won’t mind you asking to see it.
Representatives from water, gas and electric companies are unlikely to call at your home without an appointment and police are likely to be present if there is a real emergency.
Not sure, Don’t open the door. Genuine visitiors will not mind you telling them to return when you have a relative, or friend with you.
Follow the below advice and inform elderly relaitves, neighbours and freinds to protect them.
- Don’t be frightened to ask for identification and always check it carefully. If you’re not sure, don’t open the door. Ask them to return another day.
- Install a door chain and use it. Keep the door on the chain until you’ve seen identification.
- If you need your glasses to read the identification, close the door before going to find them. Don’t leave the door open and unattended.
- Remember to lock the back door before opening the front.
- Don’t be pressured into letting someone into your home if you have suspicions.
- Don’t keep large amounts of cash in the house.
- Don’t believe scare stories. Not all callers are genuine.