Here are some top tips from DI Jane Corrigan of the Metropolitan Police on how to identify and
deal with bogus callers.
When answering your front door, remember:
• Put the chain on.
• Check the identity of the caller by using either the door viewer or
looking through a window.
• If you're not sure about his or her identity, call through the door or
an adjacent window and ask who and why they're calling; or open the
door, still keeping the chain on, and inspect the caller's pass.
Remember: All callers from a utility company or local authority, who may need to enter your
home, should have a pass to identify themselves.
• Gas, electricity and water companies are all required to offer special services for their customers of pensionable age. One of the services is to arrange for you to have a personal password so that you will know if the caller is a representative of the company. To register for these services you will need to contact the company - information on how to do this is on the back of your bill.
• We need neighbours to be helpful and vigilant - don't be afraid to ask for ID. If they are who they say they are, they won't mind.
Bogus callers will:
• Call unannounced.
• Usually work in pairs.
• Generally, they will not have any type of uniform or arrive in any official van.
• They will not be willing for you to study their identity (if they have any)
• They will try and pressurise you.
• If they gain entry into your home, one will stay with you whilst the other will go to another part of the house.
• If they are working alone, then they will ask you to do something which separates you from them.
Official callers will:
• Try and make an appointment where possible. They will have your personal details on record and will be able to write/phone for an appointment.
• They will be happy for you to look at their I.D.
• Usually wear a corporate rate uniform, and may have an official van.
• Understand if you do not want to let them in, and should not put you under any pressure.
• If in the house, will only go to one point, e.g. the gas or electricity meter.
• They will want you to stay with them.
What you should do:
As soon as there is a knock on the door - STOP and THINK. Who is it? Am I expecting them?
Do not let them in unless you are 100% sure that they are who they say they are. IF IN DOUBT, KEEP THEM OUT!!!
Finally, if you have a visit from anyone who you think is a bogus caller, or you see people down your road who might be preying on your neighbours, then ring 999, and take a description and details of any vehicles that might be involved. Anyone working officially will not mind being checked by the police.