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