A person may pretend to be a workman, saying that they need to check your electricity or water or that the car has broken down and that they need to ring someone for help.

They might even claim that they are from Charnwood Borough Council.

You can't always be sure that people turning up on your doorstep are who they say they are. Bogus callers are very convincing and can be very persuasive but by taking preventative measures they can be stopped.

How to deter bogus callers

Whatever reason a caller gives, you need to be sure that they aren't trying to get into your home to steal something.

  • Beware of 'distraction burglary' where callers get into homes and steal cash or valuables while the occupier is distracted in some way. Sometimes they work in pairs, with one doing the talking while the other is stealing and they often target the elderly.
  • Be on your guard every time the doorbell rings, or there's a knock at your door. Look out of your window to see who's there before opening your door. Alternatively, have a viewer fitted in your front door so that you can take a good look at who's there first. If your eyesight isn't good, don't worry as you can now get wide-angle viewers to help you see better.
  • Put a door chain or door bar on before opening the door and talk through the gap. You could even fit a small mirror on the wall next to the door so that you can easily see the person you are talking to.
  • Make sure your back door is locked if someone knocks at your front door. Sometimes thieves work together with one coming in the back way, while the other keeps you talking at the front.
  • Keep the chain on the door, ask callers from the council or any other organisation to pass through some identification. If you need your glasses to check this don't think it is rude to close the door and go and get them. A genuine caller will not mind.
  • If you are still not sure, ask the caller to leave and tell them to write and make an appointment so that someone else can be with you the next time they call.

The basic rule is if you don't know the person at your door don't let them in.

Last updated: Mon 30th July, 2018 @ 14:26