Bogus doorstep callers

Although all crime is an unpleasant experience for all victims, there is one particular type of crime that comes pretty near to the top of the despicable list - the bogus caller. Police call this burglary artifice. However, most people would call them con men.

Such a simplistic term tends to distance them from the devastating effect this cowardly crime can have on the victim, who tends to be the more vulnerable and trusting member of society. Below are some tips that may help you recognise a potential bogus caller. If you have some elderly relatives and neighbours encourage them to read the tips.

Bogus callers will:
Call unannounced
Usually work in pairs
They will not generally have any type of uniform or arrive in any official van
They will not be willing for you to study their identity (if they have any)
Will try and make you feel under pressure
If they gain entry into your home, one will stay with you whilst the other one will go to another part of the house
If they are working alone, then they will ask you to do something which separates you from them

Official callers will:
Try and make an appointment where possible. They will have your personal details on record and will be able to write/phone for an appointment
Will only be too happy for you to look at the I.D. they carry
Will usually wear a corporate rate uniform, and may have an official van
Will understand if you do not let them in, and should not put you under pressure
If in the house, will only go to one point, e.g., the gas or electric meter, kitchen stop cock
Will want you to stay with them

What you should do:
As soon as there is a knock on the door STOP and THINK. Who is it? Am I expecting them?
Do not let them in unless you are 100% sure they are who they say they are. IF IN DOUBT, KEEP THEM OUT!!!
Finally, if you have a visit from anyone who you think is a bogus caller, or you see people down your road who might be preying on your neighbours, then ring 999, and take a description and details of any vehicles that might be involved.

Anyone working officially will not mind being checked by the police. For the victims of con men, or whatever they are called, life will never be the same again. Let’s work together to rid Essex of these unscrupulous individuals.