Carers, Care Professionals and Family members are in a unique position to help prevent potentially vulnerable persons from becoming a victim of crime through bogus callers and rogue traders. By passing on some common sense tips and safety routines you can help in keeping them safe.
Most callers to the home are genuine however there are instances when a caller may not be. Bogus Callers and Rogue Traders can be persuasive and will target vulnerable members of society.
Bogus Callers may pretend to be from utility suppliers and other reputable organisations, in order to gain access to a property. Once access has been gained they will steal money and other valuables. Rogue Traders will try and talk householders into paying for the services they are offering. They will often be unqualified to carry out these services and will either do a poor job or may take the payment and not do the job at all. Being targeted in this way can be very upsetting and have a profound effect on the individual who has been targeted.
Callers should always be asked for proof of identity. Genuine callers will be only too happy to provide this information and to wait outside the property until it is verified. No caller should be given access to the property until the householder is sure they are genuine.
What can you do?
- Reassure the person you care for that most callers to the home will be genuine but there are instances where they might have to deal with bogus callers.
- Reassure them that they can do a lot to prevent themselves from becoming victims.
- Make sure they understand the risks but don't frighten them unnecessarily.
- They may feel it’s rude to refuse someone entry; reassure them it’s their doorstep and therefore their decision.
- Tell them to phone the police if a caller refuses to leave.
Encourage them to practise good doorstep behaviour
- Remind them never to leave doors unlocked and not to leave keys in an unsafe place (such as under doormats or flower pots)
- Encourage them to follow the following procedure when answering the door:
- Before answering the front door, make sure the back door is locked.
- f there is a door chain remember to use it before opening the door.
- Ask the caller for their identification and check it carefully.
- Ask them to wait outside and close the door - genuine callers will not mind.
- Ring Quick Check on the police non-emergency telephone number 101. The call will be answered personally and promptly by a trained operator. They will check with the company that the person at the door is genuine. If they are not or they think that there is something suspicious, the operator will be able to send the police directly to you.
- Do not let anyone into the property until you are satisfied as to who they are.
Advise them to keep money and valuables safe
- Encourage them not to keep large sums of money at home.
- Suggest that valuables or items of great sentimental value are not left where they could be easily taken.
- Encourage them to mark property, and ideally keep photographic and detailed records of valuables.
- Advise them that documents containing personal details which are no longer needed should be burned or shredded.
- Advise them to keep credit cards safe and never have the PIN written down.
Make sure they have an easily accessible list of useful telephone numbers
Engage them in conversation to establish if anything unusual or out of the ordinary has happened since you were last there. If they mention anything out of the ordinary or you notice anything suspicious tell the Police.