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Bogus Callers/Rogue Traders

(Re-produced with the permission of Norfolk Constabulary)

Bogus callers are conmen (or women) who use a variety of stories to gain access to a person’s home in order to steal. They may pose as an official caller from a local authority or a utility company, Gas, Electricity and Water, with a plausible explanation for needing to enter the home.

Rogue Traders are people who pretend to be builders needing to do ‘urgent’ repairs or sales people offering bargain products. They often pressurise householders to pay in advance for materials or do poor work at highly inflated prices.

A common factor is that both Bogus Callers and Rogue Traders prey on vulnerable older or disabled people. Many offences go unreported.

When a bogus caller uses a trick to enter a home and steal property its called a ‘Distraction Burglary’. You may also hear the term ‘Artifice Offence’ used.

Bogus callers succeed because they sound believable, so don't be fooled. Make sure in your own mind that they are whom they claim to be by following these simple steps:

1 Think before you open the door - use your chain and spy hole or look out of the window to see if you recognise them.

2 Ask callers for proof of identity. Genuine tradesmen should carry an identification card with their photograph on. Check this carefully. If you are unsure, telephone the company the caller claims to represent, (use a number from telephone directory and not any number they might give you)

3 The Utilities now offer a password identification system. Any caller from one of these companies should be able to give a pre-arranged password as additional proof of identity.

4 Beware of callers who attempt to distract you by claiming that they have seen something untoward in your rear garden or somewhere which may encourage you to leave your house - they may have an accomplice awaiting this distraction.

5 If you are not convinced of the identity of the caller, don't let them in. Ask the caller to come back later and arrange for a friend, relative or neighbour to be present on their return or ask the caller to contact this person. Use a copy of our Nominated Neighbour card (see below)

Treat every stranger with caution. If you are still worried, dial 999 immediately and ask for the police.

Nominated Neighbour Card   PDF 59KB
Use a copy of this poster to explain to a caller that you want them to contact a neighbour or other designated person before you will let the caller in.

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