Bogus Callers

Do you know who is calling at your door?

Most callers at your door will be genuine people. However, it is important to be aware of the risk of posed by distraction burglars and bogus callers.

Their aim is to get inside your home to steal from you or, in the case or rogue traders, overcharge you for work that they may do.


Here you will find the doorstep protocol recommended by Durham Constabulary to help protect against distraction burglaries and bogus callers.

Lock – Is your back door locked? Always check it is as soon as someone knocks at your door or rings your bell. Bogus callers often have an accomplice who may try to enter your home by the back door while you are distracted.

Stop – Do not open the door until you have looked through a window or used a door viewer to see who is on your doorstep.

Remember, you do not have to open your door to anyone, especially someone you are not expecting or do not know. If in doubt, keep them out by keeping your door shut. Consider calling a friend or relative, if you have a warden call or community alarm, press your button and call them. If the caller looks suspicious or you are frightened, do not open the door call 999.

Chain – If you feel that you need to speak to the caller, use a door-chain. Do not open the door unless you put the chain on first so that you can see the person on your doorstep.
Find out who they are and what they want. Close the door again while you do the following:

Check – Check their identity. If they say they are from a water, gas or electricity company they will have photo identification. If they cannot produce a bone fide identification card, send them away and close the door.

Beware of phone calls – if you do speak with the person at your front door and your telephone rings, do not leave the person alone on your doorstep and disappear out of sight. They may take the opportunity to enter your house! With the use of mobile phones, the distraction burglars could easily find your telephone number and call your home phone.

What if a caller states it's an emergency?

Even if they say there is an emergency do not let them in.

One of the common ruses used by bogus callers is to say that they are from one of the utility companies or boards as they used to be known.

If a caller claims they are from the “water board”, “gas board” or “electric board”, do not let them in, as those boards do not exist anymore.

The Safe and Sound Group would like to dispel the belief utility company and council employees have some sort of right of entry to their home.

No utility company or council employee has any right to enter your home without a warrant from a court. If there is any real emergency involving water, electricity or gas they will not knock on your door unless accompanied by police officer.