Your Checklist for Beating the Bogus Callers

Doorstep Crime can affect people of all ages, but in particular the elderly and vulnerable members of our communities.  Such instances of crime often involve Bogus Callers i.e. criminals pretending to be someone they’re not in order to gain your trust or distract you.

Bogus Callers can take many forms, from those posing as workmen or police officers, to those who claim their car has broken down. Once at your doorstep the criminal will try and talk their way inside to commit a burglary, or distract you long enough for an accomplice to slip in through another entrance.

How can you protect yourself against Bogus Callers? Simply follow our handy checklist below for what to do when there’s a knock at your door:

Are you expecting anyone?
If not, consider whether you should answer at all, particularly if it is after dark.

Can you see who is calling?
Using a peephole, electronic door viewer, intercom, or even just glancing out of a window can help you establish if the caller may be suspicious.

You’ve decided to answer.
Before you open the door, are your back doors and windows shut and locked? This will prevent sneak-in burglaries whilst you are occupied at the front door.

Have you applied your door chain?
These essential bits of kit allow the identification and verification of callers, without allowing them access. The higher quality chain the better.

You’ve partially opened the door with your door chain applied.
If the caller is a stranger then ask them who they are and what they want. 

Is the caller claiming to be in trouble or that their car has broken down etc?
Do not feel obligated to invite them in or to leave your home, offer to call the police or breakdown recovery. Don’t worry about being rude, it’s better to be safe than sorry!

Is the caller claiming to be from an organisation?
Ask to see some ID. Ensure you check it closely, a genuine caller won’t mind handing their credentials over.

Does their ID seem genuine?
If you’re not sure, call the organisation they claim to represent. Always try and use a number you find yourself (e.g. online) rather than the one that’s on their ID. 

If you decide to call their organisation.
Shut the door again whilst doing so. A genuine caller will understand and won’t mind waiting.

Does everything check out?
You’ve now completed the Lock, Stop, Chain, Check process for identifying Bogus Callers and combatting Distraction Burglary. You can return to your visitor with confidence. However if you’re still in doubt, just keep them out!

For more information on Bogus Callers, or to view our range of crime prevention products, visit www.redlinesecurity.co.uk or follow our twitter account @SolonSecurity.

 

Family Safety Week 2016 – Safety Starts with a Secure Home!

This week sees the return of Family Safety Week across the UK, an annual initiative run by the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (ROSPA).

This year’s focus is on keeping children safe in the home, particularly in regard to preventing accidents and removing hazards. For more information you can visit the website here.

The first step to keeping your family safe is to ensure they live in a secure environment . With this in mind we have prepared a list of 10 Top Tips for keeping your family home safe from external threats, such as burglars and vandals, and internal risks such as accidents and house fires. Take a look below:

1) Let’s start with the basics: ensure all windows and doors are securely locked whenever they are not in use or are left unattended. Use British Standard locks for maximum protection.

2) You can add an additional layer of security to your home by installing window alarms and door handle alarms. These simple devices can help prevent forced entry and sneak-in burglaries.

3) It is important to practice good Doorstep Security to combat bogus callers and distraction burglary; install a Police Approved door chain and always ask for ID. If you’re not sure, don’t open the door!

4) Good home security extends to your garden too; ensure any sheds or outbuildings are kept securely locked and alarmed, with any tools or other equipment tidied away.

5) CCTV is one of the most effective anti-theft devices your home can have, enabling you to spot potential thieves or vandals and make it easier for Police to catch them.

6) Decoy CCTV can be equally valuable in terms of deterring burglars, particularly when the units are positioned in plain sight, and won’t break the bank! Hi-Vis warning signage is similarly effective.

7) Security lighting is a constant deterrent to thieves all year round, particularly solar powered models that are easy to install and require no maintenance.

8) Many accidents around the home can occur at night due to poor visibility. Dusk Till Dawn bulbs and Nightlights are great, cost effective and energy efficient ways to combat this risk.

9) Slips, Trips & Falls are common causes of domestic injury, particularly amongst children and the elderly. Consider safety items such as handrails, non-slip tape and covers for sharp edges.

10) Ensure your home is strong on Fire Safety; install both smoke and carbon monoxide alarms and ensure they are tested at least once a fortnight.

If you are looking to improve your home security you can view our range of quality products at www.redlinesecurity.co.uk, or call our team on 01352 736125.

Distraction Burglary and Bogus Callers – What you need to know.

Welcome back to the Solon blog.

Today we’re talking about distraction burglary and bogus callers. These are terms that you have probably come across in the past, but perhaps you find yourself wondering exactly what they refer to?

Well wonder no more as our simple guide below highlights the Who, What, Where, When, Why and How of the issue.

bogus-caller

What is it?

Distraction burglary is a form of doorstep crime that relies on misleading people to gain access to their property. Common targets include the elderly or vulnerable and people who live alone.

Where does it happen?

Mostly at private residences like houses and flats, however some businesses have also been known to be affected.

When does it happen?

Distraction burglary can occur at any time however most instances tend to be during daylight hours so bogus callers can maximise the illusion of authenticity. These criminals don’t need to wait for cover of darkness, they rely on conning their way inside in plain sight.

Who does it?

Who these people are is simple: they are criminals. However who they are pretending to be is another matter entirely. Bogus callers will pose as many things to gain access including workmen, utility company staff, council workers and even Police Officers.

How do they do it?

The offenders will attempt to win trust by explaining why they are at the property and why they need to come inside. For example a bogus caller claiming to be from British Gas may tell a resident they have found evidence of a problem with the boiler at their property and that they have been sent to repair it.

In some cases the actual caller won’t be looking to commit a burglary at all; certain burglars work in pairs and the caller may simply try to gain access and keep the resident occupied whilst their accomplice slips in through the open door and commits the robbery. Similarly a caller may try to keep the resident talking at the front door while their partner enters through the back door. In some cases it has even been known for children to be used to distract residents.

Why do they do it?

If successful in gaining entry, or occupying the resident so an accomplice gains entry, bogus callers are free to target any valuables within the property. The targets can range from large items like TV’s and laptops, to the searching of bedrooms for money and jewellery. In some instances the callers may drop their false identity once safely inside the property and proceed to intimidate the resident into providing sensitive information such as bank details.

Did you find this useful? Check out our Product Focus featuring our new Police Approved door chain Here – the first step to protecting yourself against bogus callers.

Product Focus: PVCu Door Chain Stay Secure – Chain Your Door!

Introducing the new Police Approved PVCu Door Chain from Solon Security.

Hello and welcome back to the Solon Security blog page!
In this piece we will be drawing attention to the launch of one of our newest police approved security products: the Defender PVCu Door Chain.

Door Chains are a must-have accessory for any secure property, particularly with incidents of distraction burglary and bogus callers rife across the UK. Your front door is your first line of defence against these sort of criminals so it is important to protect it with the highest quality equipment.

Chains allow you to identify and verify random visitors without allowing them access to your property. Perfect for guarding against bogus callers.

Not familiar with distraction burglary/bogus callers? Click Here to read our
Who, What, Why When, Where and How guide…

The Solon Security Defender PVCu Door Chain brings guaranteed quality to the table (or more accurately, to the door!) This is reflected by the product receiving the coveted Secured By Design accreditation, which means it has been judged to meet Police preferred specifications, as well as undergoing rigorous testing to standard TS003 : 2012 and being fully CE approved.

As well as its excellent performance it is the intelligent design of the product that really makes it stand out from the crowd, as the chain can be installed without any need for any drilling to the door frame. This means there is no risk of causing any damage to the frame or lock mechanism of your door, which can be costly to repair and leave you vulnerable in the meantime. What’s more the versatility of the chain means it can be used with any PVCu door.

These typically high levels of performance, innovation and convenience combine to make this one of Solon Security’s best door chain ever.

To get more information, or to order your very own Police Approved Door Chain, simply call our team on 01352 736125. Office hours Mon-Fri 08:30 – 17:00.