This week we take a look at bogus callers to your home, and what you can do if you are feeling suspicious.
My neighbour was recently burgled by an individual who called to her door purporting to be a representative of a well-known service company. He stole a small sum of money from her. A few days later a caller to my home told me that his car had broken down and he asked to use my telephone. I was suspicious of him and did not let him in. Are there any guidelines I should follow which may prevent me becoming the victim of a bogus caller?
An Garda Siochana website contains comprehensive advice in relation to bogus callers. Distraction burglaries such as someone pretending to need to use your telephone for various reasons are one method used by burglars to trick their way into your home. Other such bogus callers represent themselves as employees of a service provider indicating that they need to check gas/ power / water supplies etc.
If you are suspicious of any caller to your home then it may be helpful to follow the following Garda advice:
- Look out the window
- Ask for ID. Genuine callers will have no problem in providing photographic identification and organisational details.
- Don’t be embarrassed to tell the caller to write and make an appointment.
- Make sure your back door is locked before you go to the front door.
- Have a viewer fitted in your door.
- Have a door chain fitted and keep the chain on.
- The basic rule is if you don’t know the person at your door, you shouldn’t let them in.
- If anxious contact your local Gardaí.
Such crimes are not common but the Gardai advise to be wary of strangers calling to your home. It should be noted that older persons are less often the victims of crime than their younger neighbours.