From bogus callers to rogue traders, doorstep criminals are cunning, creative, and very skilled at deception. They will use a number of ways to try and gain entry to your home to steal and trick you out of money.
Anyone can be fooled as these people are professional con artists. However, the over 60s are often specifically targeted.
What is Doorstep Crime?
Bogus callers try to get into your home or obtain personal details by pretending to be someone they’re not. They may claim to be:
- Council staff.
- Meter readers.
- Charity collectors.
- Police officers.
In reality, they are criminals trying to steal cash and valuables.
Rogue traders usually cold-call, claiming to be workers offering to make repairs or carry out work on your house, garden or driveway. In reality they charge inflated prices for shoddy or unnecessary work.
We DO NOT recommend dealing with cold-callers for property maintenance and repairs to your home.
What can I do?
There are a number of things you can do to help yourself from being caught out:
- Be on guard if someone turns up unexpectedly.
- Use a door chain or bar.
- Always put the chain on before opening the door.
- Keep it on while talking to callers.
- Don’t feel embarrassed - genuine callers expect you to be careful.
- If you don’t have a door chain, check from the nearest window. Remember, door chains can be easily fitted.
- If you’re not sure, don’t answer the door.
Who should I call?
…if I feel threatened, unsafe or suspicious of a caller?
- Contact the police immediately on 999.
…if I see something suspicious in my area, or want more advice about doorstep crime?
- Contact the police on 101.
- Try and take a note of vehicle details or registration numbers and descriptions of anyone suspicious.
…if I want to contact the police anonymously?
- Contact the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111. You can also visit its website at www.crimestoppers-uk.org.
…to find out more about home safety services?
- Contact your local police station on 101 to arrange a free security survey.
- Contact your local Trading Standards: Some operate No Cold Calling Zones or have lists of approved traders.
Nominated Neighbour Scheme
The Nominated Neighbour Scheme has been created to help deter doorstep criminals and protect older and vulnerable members of our communities.
So, how does it work?
As a Nominated Neighbour you agree to help verify the identity of any person calling at your elderly/vulnerable neighbour's door.
The caller will be sent to your door, you check their identity and if you're happy that the caller is genuine, you return with them to your neighbour's house. You stay with them until the caller leaves.
To find out more about the scheme, contact local police on 101 and/or download the leaflet about the Nominated Neighbour Scheme below.
Learn more about our campaign by downloading the Beat Doorstep Crime campaign toolkit.
Find out more about doorstep crime by downloading our Beat Doorstep Crime campaign material.