To Trust Or Not To Trust The Knock At The Door That Is The Question
During the day it is very likely there could be a knock on the door from salespeople, charity collections, maintenance, council workers and our least favourite, scammers. But how do you tell the difference between a legitimate worker or a greedy opportunist? We have listed a few tips and solutions to keep you safe:
Scammers will portray themselves to be any of the above with the aim of selling you rogue products and services, tricking you into handing over personal details or to gain access to your home to steal. If you are not expecting any guests, then be suspicious and remember: salespeople and charity workers will turn up uninvited. But if you ask them to leave they must do so
- If workers turn up to offer services that you did not authorise, don’t accept. For example, if workers claim to be repairing a roof nearby and have “noticed yours need some work too”, don’t accept or pay on the spot. If you are interested in a service, ask for the company details and research to see if they are genuine. Usually, builders and construction workers won’t hunt for work door to door or offer a ‘special deal’.
- Don’t hand over any personal information. Scammers can appear to be conducting surveys to trick you into handing over information. This information could be sold on to other companies that could spam your email, cold call your phone or use it towards identity fraud. Under no circumstance provide any bank, license or passport information.
- If you have an unexpected guest, before answering the door check that any back doors and windows are closed. It has been reported that scammers can work as a team to distract their victim at the door while their accomplice sneaks to the back of the house to grab valuables like handbags, phones or laptops/tablets.
- Always ask for ID. Any genuine workers will be happy to present identification
- Do your research. Before agreeing to any product or service, take some time to research the company or organisation
- Do not to leave anything valuables by the door like keys, as a thief can snatch them when if you are not looking or have left the doorway
EXTRA SAFETY TIPS
- Install a door chain. There have been reports where scammers have forced their way through the door to steal items including jewellery. A door chain will make it difficult for a scammer to gain access.
- Install an entry system – there are several types. Audio and video are very popular as this gives you the chance to see the person at the door and make a judgement call before opening it.
- Fit a sign on the front door. There are signs that warn door to door salesman and workers that you are not interested in their offers. This may not stop them from knocking but it may act as a deterrent.
- Keep a handheld panic button within reaching distance. There are panic buttons that can be installed around the property or there is hand held ones. We do recommend handheld panic buttons for elderly or the less able, not only for scammers at the door, but in case there is an accident. With a panic button, help can be requested. CMS Key Guards are able to visit when a panic button has been activated.
- CCTV on the front of the property will help deter scammers as well as burglars who will not want their faces available for evidence.
How to report a scam
In 2013 Metropolitan police stated all fraud should be reported directly to Action Fraud
Online: www.actionfraud.police.uk or call 0300 123 2040
You can also speak to Crimestoppers for more information.
Online: www.crimestoppers-uk.org or call 0800 555 111