Beat Bogus Callers

From bogus callers to rogue traders, doorstep criminals are cunning, creative, and often very convincing.


Anyone can be fooled as these people are professional con artists.

However, the over 60s are often specifically targeted.


Find out more about doorstep crime by downloading our Beat Bogus Caller booklet and poster.


What is doorstep crime?

There are two main types of doorstep crime:

  • Bogus callers try to get into your home by pretending to be someone they’re not, including council staff, meter readers, or even police officers. In reality, they are crooks trying to steal cash and valuables.
  • Rogue traders claim 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.
  • What can I do?


  • Be on guard if someone turns up unexpectedly. Genuine caller make appointments first.

  • 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, get one fitted.

  • Check ID

  • Ask for ID from anyone who comes to your door, whether you expect them or not.

  • Genuine callers will carry company photo ID and show it when you ask.

  • Keep the door chained while you inspect their ID.

  • If the caller is unexpected, ring their office to confirm their identity. Don’t use the number on their ID card, look it up in the telephone directory or a recent bill. Genuine callers won’t mind waiting.

  • Don’t assume a caller is genuine because they are wearing a uniform.

  • If in doubt, shut them out!

  • If you have any doubts, tell the caller to come back when someone else is home. Genuine callers won’t mind rearranging.

  • You can tell callers to contact you by letter to arrange a more convenient time.

  • Only let callers in if they have an appointment, and you are absolutely sure they are genuine.

  • Who should I call?

  • If you feel threatened, unsafe, or suspicious of a caller, contact the police immediately on 999.

  • If you see something suspicious in your 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 you want to contact the police anonymously, contact the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111. You can also visit their website at

  • If you want to find out more about home safety services, contact your local council. Depending on your circumstances, you may qualify for a free security alarm.