The Isle of Wight Against Scams Partnership (IWASP) is advising residents on how to prevent doorstep crime.

Doorstep crime refers to rogue traders, bogus callers and distraction burglary, including:

  • People that knock on your door.
  • Phone you at home.
  • Deliver leaflets through the letterbox offering house repairs/garden services.
  • Use false logos.
  • False local addresses to appear real.
  • False telephone numbers to appear genuine.

Distraction burglary is when a person tries to gain access to your home by trying to trick you into believing they need help or are officials in the area.

Tips to avoid crime:

  • Keep your front and backdoor locked at all times, even when you are at home.
  •  Before you open the door, stop and think if you are expecting anyone.
  • Before you answer, make sure no rear or side doors and windows have been left open.-It may be that the caller is trying to distract you while someone else sneaks in.
  • Consider fitting door chains so that you have that additional security when opening the door.
  •  If you are expecting callers from a utility company or the council, set a password when you make the arrangements that the caller has to give on arrival.
  • Ask to check their identity card and check that they look like the person on the card.
  • Avoid buying Do not buy goods and services from traders who call uninvited.
  • Consider using the Trader Approved Scheme. Trading Standards team has set up a register so that you can buy with confidence.
  • Distraction burglars may ask to use your phone or ask for a glass of water – don’t worry if you choose not to help, it is not rude or unfriendly.

For details of traders who have been assessed and are members of the scheme click here.

Doorstep calling should always be reported to Trading Standards on (01983) 823371.