There are many forms of doorstep crime, the main types being:
- distraction burglary
- bogus callers / bogus officials
- high pressure doorstep selling and
- rogue traders.
Doorstep crime can affect anyone but often older and vulnerable adults are more at risk from becoming victims of bogus cold calling and rogue doorstep sellers.
Some traders who call at your door can be honest and genuine. However, some are not and can be extremely persuasive.
Rogue doorstep sellers will usually insist on starting the work the same day and will often ask for cash up front. They may offer to take you to the bank or building society so you can get the money out.
Always be wary of leaflets posted through your door offering services, this can be just another way the unscrupulous trader will attempt to persuade you to have work done.
If you feel you have been a victim of Doorstep Crime please call Citizens Advice Consumer Service on 0345 4040506.
If you require a tradesperson, please see Business Approval Register
How to protect yourself from doorstep crime
- NEVER agree to have any work done as a result of a cold call. Don't make snap decisions and don't be pressurised into having the job done.
- If you think work needs doing to your home, get quotes from 2 or 3 traders. Ask friends and relatives to recommend a reputable business.
- Ask for the full name and address from a trader BEFORE considering dealing with them. Never rely solely on a mobile phone number.
- Ask for a written quotation detailing all the proposed work and a final price for the job.
- Only pay once the work is completed to your satisfaction. Don't pay cash. Don't pay money up front for trader's materials.
- Check the identity of all callers to your home. Ask for photo identification even if the caller claims to be from a utility company, the police or local authority. Check it carefully with the telephone number in the phone book, NOT the number on the ID.
- Do not keep cash in your home no matter how well you think it is hidden. Never pay traders in cash as this is an indication that you may have more cash on the premises.