Keep your home safe.

If you know what to look out for and how to act, you can keep your home safe from scams.

Doorstep scams

If someone calls at your door it may be a real sales person, meter reader or police officer. But it could also be a scam.

What to look out for:

  • Bogus callers - If a stranger calls at your home, you don’t have to let them in. Some scams try to get in by asking for a drink of water or to use your toilet.
  • ID - A genuine caller should always have ID. The police, even in plain clothes, carry a warrant card and/or a badge. Ask to see ID before you think about letting a caller into your home.
  • Moving your money - Some scams pretend to be the police and say your money is at risk. They will ask you to move it to a ‘safe account’. The real police will never ask you to do this.
  • Urgent work - Bogus builders may tell you that urgent building work needs to be done on your home. This is a scam.
  • No time to think - If a bogus caller tries to hurry you, to get you to act quickly, it’s a scam.

What you can do:

  • Lock doors and windows - One scam is to keep you busy at the front door while someone else tries to sneak in the back. Make sure your house is secure.
  • Check ID - You can keep a caller, like a meter reader, outside while you check their ID. A genuine caller won’t mind waiting. Call their company to check their name and ID number. But don't use a number the caller gives you. Call the number on a bill or letter, or from the phone book.
  • Use reminders - Tape a note near your front door to check a caller’s ID. Then you'll see it each time before you open the door.
  • Don’t move your money - The police will never ask you to move your money to a ‘safe’ account.
  • Get a work contract - If a caller offers to do building work, ask them to come back at an agreed time when a trusted friend or family member can join you. Ask for a written estimate and proof of insurance before you agree to any work.
  • Stay calm - If a caller tries to pressure you, ask them to leave. If they don’t leave, call 999 for the police.

Next topic: Mortgage deposit scams


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