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Distraction Burglary

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The Police
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Distraction Burglary


Distraction burglary

Distraction burglars pretend to be someone they are not in order to gain entry to your home.

Common methods used by distraction burglars

  • pretending to be from a care agency, the council or a utility company investigating a gas or water leak

  • seeking help to leave a note for a neighbour or even asking for a drink of water if they claim to be thirsty or unwell

  • claiming to be in a hurry or emergency and needing to get into your home quickly

  • working in teams, with one person distracting you while the other searches your home

How to prevent it

There are a number of things you can do to prevent distraction burglary. Always remember "if in doubt, keep them out":

  • use your door viewer to see who’s there

  • if you open the door put the chain on first

  • always ask for ID and check it with the company before letting somebody into your home

  • use the phone number advertised in the phone book or online, as the number on their identity card could be fake. For a utility company, call the customer service department. Close the door while you do this

  • remember that genuine callers won’t mind checks. If you feel at all unsure, schedule a time for the caller to come back when a friend or relative is there

  • for pre-planned appointments with utility companies, a password scheme can be set up

If you feel threatened or in danger by the presence of the caller, call 999.

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Message Sent By
Daniel Boote
(Staffordshire Police, PCSO, Stoke South)

Neighbourhood Alert Cyber Essentials