Bogus callers, sometimes known as doorstep thieves, are people who trick their way into people's homes with the intention of stealing money or property.
These people often work in teams of two or more and they usually prey on people who are elderly or vulnerable. Bogus callers can be anyone and use many different guises to gain entry to your home, often pretending to be Council officials, workmen from the gas or water board, or even the police. Most official companies will send you a letter first and you can ask your gas, water or electricity supplier to give you a unique password for additional security.
If you are in any doubt about the person on your doorstep then remember the following advice:
- Use your door-chain or door-bar when answering the door and install a door viewer and an outside light.
- Ask to see the caller's identity card and check it thoroughly. If you feel unsure ask the caller to wait on the doorstep while you phone the company to check.
- Lock the door whilst you go and phone and don't open the door until you are totally convinced. Anyone who is genuine will not mind you doing this.
- Ask them to return at an agreed day and time when you have someone with you. Don't let callers put pressure on you to let them in.
- If in doubt - keep them out.
- If you are suspicious - ring the Police .
Bogus workmen may try to carry out unnecessary repairs on your home and can be quite persistent and convincing. If a workman says you need repairs, tell them you will get some quotes for the work from other companies and get back to them. Never part with money - don't do business on the doorstep. Always use a reputable company to carry out repairs or work on your property.
Rogue Traders are criminals. They appear to be professional tradespeople, using printed leaflets and well maintained vehicles but these are used to con consumers. Criminal activities can include fraud, charging high prices for poor work or charging for work that is not done or necessary and in the worst cases, commit burglary. The criminals concerned will often target and seek out members of society who are vulnerable; often sharing this information with other criminals.
Contact Wolverhampton City Council to report any rogue traders that you have experienced.
Here you will find information about Trading Standards.