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Bogus callers

Many traders who call at your door are honest and genuine. However, some are not and will target those who might be particularly vulnerable.

Bogus callers and distraction burglary 

Bogus callers, sometimes known as conmen or doorstep thieves, are people who try to trick their way into your home with the intention of either stealing money, or of conning you into paying them money. They can pretend to be from companies such as the gas and electricity board or local authority. 

We have 'Doorstep Calling Restricted Zones’ set up in various areas in Redbridge. Zones are clearly displayed by signs on lamp posts at the main entrance and exit points, informing traders that they are entering an area where residents do not buy goods and services at the door. 

Age UK has also produced information on how to avoid scams. 

Rogue traders 

Rogue traders, sometimes known as 'cowboys', will often try to convince you that work needs to be carried out on your home. 

You can ask family, friends or carers for advice on whether you need work carried out on your home.  

A list of reputable companies that have been vetted and approved by trading standards can be found on the Buy with Confidence website. 

Practical tips 

  1. Lock - make sure your back door is locked before you go to the front door. 
  2. Stop - ask yourself "Am I expecting anyone?" 
  3. Chain - secure the door with a door chain before opening it. If you do not currently have a door chain, arrange to have one fitted. The Redbridge Handyperson Scheme carries out odd jobs around the home for vulnerable residents free of charge or at a low cost depending on your eligibility.  
  4. Check - always ask for identification (ID). If you want to verify the ID, call the organisation direct. If you are in any doubt, don't let them in. 

Report a bogus caller or rogue trader 

If you have seen bogus callers working in Redbridge or you are having difficulty with someone currently working on your house, the Citizens Advice consumer service can help. It will provide free and confidential advice via a helpline. Call 03454 04 05 06.  

Always remember, if you are in danger, telephone 999.