Always be on your guard when anyone you're not expecting - a man, a woman or even a child - turns up at your door.
Burglars and fraudsters won't go to the trouble of breaking in if they can just knock and be invited in.
The following advice will help you to identify a bogus caller at your door and can help you take the right steps to ensure you and your property stay safe.
Important: Genuine callers will normally make an appointment first and will carry identification with their photograph on it.
Know your rights: Traders must give you 'Notice of Right to Cancel, which gives you a 14-day cooling off period before work starts, for any work over the value of £35.
What can you do?
From time to time, people collecting money for charity may call at your door. The Charity Commission recommends that collectors should:
Important: If you have any concerns about a charity collector, call the Charity Commission Helpline on 0300 066 9197.
A pedlar is someone who travels and trades on foot, going from town to town or house to house selling goods such as pictures and household goods or offering their skills in handicrafts.
A pedlar must hold a certificate granted by a chief constable. The certificate is valid for one year and applies throughout the United Kingdom. Certificates cannot be issued to people under the age of 17.
Please note: The certificate does not cover a person to sell food or drink, flowers, medicines, poisons, gunpowder or tobacco – all are prohibited items. Any person wishing to sell foodstuffs must make application to the local authority for licences to comply with food safety regulations.
An application form for a Pedlar's Certificate must be obtained and completed by the applicant at any Police Station, so a description can be obtained for security reasons. The completion of the application has to be witnessed by a member of police staff.
When applying for a pedlar's certificate the applicant will need to bring two forms of ID. One of these must show the applicant’s name, date of birth and photograph (ideally a passport or driver's licence). The other must include their address to show that they have lived within the Avon and Somerset force area for the last 28 days.
A fee of £12.25 is payable and all forms go through the Licensing Bureau for vetting and a final decision will be made by the licensing manager.
Applicants will be notified of their decision in writing.
Someone who acts as a pedlar without a certificate commits an offence.