Keeping fraudsters from your front door
With so many of us now staying at home due to the current Public Health England and Government guidance, we would like to take this opportunity to remind our communities of our advice around strangers turning up unannounced at your home.
Sadly, at times like these, fraudsters also use it as an opportunity to commit crimes. They may knock at your front door, or telephone you posing as tradespeople, representatives of utility companies or public services such as the police. You may also find people offering to do shopping for you if you give them some money.
Please remain vigilant, as whilst many callers may well be genuine, we are unfortunately hearing of cases where fraudsters are abusing the vulnerability and isolation of people during the current CoVID-19 situation.
Please follow our tips and guidance to stay safe:
- Do not let strangers into your house. This is good advice at any time, but particularly during this current situation
- Stay well away from someone at your front door and ask them to step back before you fully open it. Check to see who is at the door by using a door viewer, or looking through a front window
- Put the chain on your door before you open it, as this is a barrier against unwanted callers
- If an unexpected caller claims they work for a utility company, they must be able to quote your password and unique customer number and produce an identity card. Do not give out your personal details to strangers at the door
- If someone claims to be from the police, they should carry an ID card with their photograph on - check this carefully and keep the chain on. This also applies to genuine tradespeople
- Do not go back into your house to retrieve anything without first closing your front door
- If you're unsure about a person's identity, telephone the company the caller claims to represent. However don't rely on them giving you the number as it may be false – instead look it up yourself. Genuine callers won't mind waiting while you check their identity
- If you're still unsure, ask the caller to come back later so that you can arrange for a friend, neighbour or relative to be present
- If you feel uncomfortable or are concerned with the person’s presence, call 101 or 999 if a crime is in progress.
We need our communities to come together and to look after each other. Please look out for any vulnerable or elderly neighbours and share this advice with them.