Following a noticeable increase in Bogus Caller/Doorstep Crime incidents across the country please be alert and consider how you can protect yourself, family friends and neighbours. The old adage ' If in doubt, keep them out' is a simple but effective message. Everyone has a part to play to keep the community safe.
Here are some simple steps that may prevent those around you falling victim to criminals who target the vulnerable in our communities.
- Discuss the advice in this message and links below with family, friends or neighbours who are older or vulnerable.
- Be on guard if someone turns up unexpectedly.
- Keep front and back doors locked.
- Use the door viewer or nearby window when answering the door.
- Fit a door chain or bar Ė use it and keep it on when talking to callers at the door.
- If youíre not sure, donít answer the door.
- Donít feel embarrassed Ė genuine callers expect you to be careful.
- Only let callers in if they have an appointment and you have confirmed they are genuine.
- Always ask for identification badges of anyone you answer the door to, but donít rely on them. Identity cards can be faked Ė phone the company to verify their identity.
- Some companies offer a password system. Ask your utility providers if this can be used and if you have a password with a company make sure the caller uses it.
- Never let people try to persuade you to let them into your home even if they are asking for help Ė they may not be genuine. If someone is persistent, ask them to call at another time and arrange for a friend or family member to be with you.
- Never agree to pay for goods or give money to strangers who arrive at your door.
- Donít keep large amounts of money in your home.
- Remember, itís your home. Thereís no reason why anyone should ever enter your home against your wishes. Keep an eye out for strange vans in your neighbour's driveway.
- Make sure your relatives are not regularly taking large amounts of cash out of the bank.
- Make arrangements to ensure your relativeís house looks well maintained and, for example, that it is not immediately obvious that an older person lives there alone.
- Doorstep criminals will often target the same victim more than once, so be particularly alert if someone has previously been a victim.
- Look out for your community and report any suspicious activity immediately to Police Scotland on 101 or your local authority Trading Standards.
The Police Scotland and Neighbourhood Watch websites have some useful advice and crime prevention tips which can be found at:
Original Message Sent By
Mark Armstrong (NHWN, Community Support Officer, NW Scotland)