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Dunnington Parish Council

Bogus callers and rogue traders

An elderly person opening a door to a caller, the door is fastened with a chain.

Residents are urged to look out for their elderly and vulnerable neighbours after a Dunnington resident was pressurised into handing over cash for gardening work that they hadn’t requested.
Most people who call at your home will be genuine. But sometimes, people turn up unannounced, with the intention of tricking their way into your home. They are known as 'distraction burglars' or 'bogus callers'.
If someone you don't know calls at your door follow these simple steps:

  • Lock: Keep your front and back doors locked, even when at home.
  • Stop: Before you answer, stop and think if you are expecting anyone. Check that you have locked any back doors and taken the key out. Look through the spyhole or the window to see who it is.
  • Chain: If you decide to open the door, put the door chain or bar on first. Keep the bar or chain on while you are talking to the person on the doorstep.
  • Check: Ask for and carefully check their identity card, even if they have a prearranged appointment (all genuine callers will carry one). Do they look like the person on the card? Is the name the same one as that on your letter? Close the door while you do this. If you are not expecting them and they have not shown you an identity card, don't let them in.

Bogus callers may be smartly dressed and claim to be from the council, the police, gas, water or electricity companies. They can be convincing and persuasive. They often use 'props' like an identity card or wear overalls with a company logo.
If you have any doubts about the caller, especially if they came unannounced, tell them to call back later when someone can be with you. You can also tell them to contact you by letter to arrange a more convenient time.
Anyone with information related to bogus callers and rogue traders should call North Yorkshire Police on 101. Alternatively, information can be given anonymously by calling Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111. To report a distraction burglary or bogus callers who have taken your money and are still in the area, call 999.