What is a bogus caller?
Bogus callers are conmen/women or unscrupulous tradespeople who use a variety of stories to gain access to your home in order to commit burglary, or to pressurise you into undertaking unnecessary 'urgent' repairs. They may pose as an official caller from a local authority or utility company or a bona fide tradesperson needing to make urgent repairs.
What steps can be taken?
- Fit and use a door security chain and a door viewer.
- If you do not know the caller, ask who they are representing.
- Always ask the caller to offer proof of official identification; this can be posted through your letter box. This should contain information such as their name and the organisation they represent. It is always possible to verify the person by telephoning his/her employer by using a number from your telephone book and not the telephone number the caller gives, this may not be genuine.
- If you are still unsure about the caller, ask them to come back later when you can arrange for a friend of family member to be present. Genuine callers will appreciate sensible precautions.
- Having satisfied yourself it is safe to deal with a caller, do not agree to have work undertaken until you get a second opinion as to whether you actually need work done.
- Be wary of a caller who states 'we are only in the area today' or that 'a neighbour has agreed to have similar work done'.
- Do not feel pressurised into having done work against your wishes immediately or in the future.
- Never agree to be taken to a bank or building society to withdraw money, or give out your bank account details.