Distraction burglars pretend to be someone they are not in order to gain entry to your home.
Common methods used by distraction burglars
- pretending to be from a care agency, the council or a utility company investigating a gas or water leak
- seeking help to leave a note for a neighbour or even asking for a drink of water if they claim to be thirsty or unwell
- claiming to be in a hurry or emergency and needing to get into your home quickly
- working in teams, with one person distracting you while the other searches your home
How to prevent it
There are a number of things you can do to prevent distraction burglary. Always remember “if in doubt, keep them out”:
- use your door viewer to see who’s there
- if you open the door put the chain on first
- always ask for ID and check it with the company before letting somebody into your home
- use the phone number advertised in the phone book or online, as the number on their identity card could be fake. For a utility company, call the customer service department. Close the door while you do this
- remember that genuine callers won’t mind checks. If you feel at all unsure, schedule a time for the caller to come back when a friend or relative is there
- for pre-planned appointments with utility companies, a password scheme can be set up
If you feel threatened or in danger by the presence of the caller, call 999.