Most people who call at your home will be genuine. However, occasionally bogus callers may turn up unannounced and try to trick their way into your home to steal valuables or money.
They may work alone or in pairs, and could be male or female, young or old. They could pretend to be from the council, or say they work for a gas or electric company, to trick their way in to your home.
The most common type of bogus calls in our borough have involved fraudsters pretending to be from the water board, or by pretend ‘builders’ saying they need to carry out checks.
TOP FIVE TIPS
Here are five tips on what to do if a stranger calls:
- If in any doubt, do not open the door
- If you do answer the front door, lock your back door and close windows first
- Use a spy hole or door-chain to check who the caller is
- Ask to see the person’s identification, even if they have made an appointment to see you. And, if you are unsure, call their company yourself (not on a number they provide) – if you do this, shut the door while you are doing it
- If you are still unsure, ask the caller to return another time when someone you trust can be with you.
THINK THEY WERE BOGUS?
- If you think you have a bogus caller and they are still at your door call 999
- If they leave but you think they were bogus, you can call the police on 101 to give officers some information
- If you are deaf or speech-impaired, text ‘police’ and your message to 60066.
LOOK OUT FOR YOUR NEIGHBOURS
Councillor Ranjit Dheer, the council’s cabinet member for community services and safety, said: “Distraction and artifice burglary is appalling. It targets our most vulnerable residents. The council and police have been working hard to prevent it from happening, including visiting residents in sheltered housing to provide advice and fit alarms. But the more aware all of us are, the better we can help stop this callous crime from happening.
“Please look out for your neighbours– if you live next to an older or vulnerable person, keep an eye out for them. You can even volunteer to be a ‘nominated neighbour’ under the police scheme of the same name, which would mean any cold caller would have to speak to you before speaking to your neighbour.”
Contact the safer communities team at Ealing Council on 020 8825 5994 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org