Elderly people are often targeted in distraction burglaries, in which a bogus caller gains entry to their homes on a pretext or lie or creates a diversion so that an accomplice can sneak in separately.
Bogus callers will say anything to get into the house, including lines such as: "There's been an accident, can I call an ambulance?" or "I've broken down, can I use your phone?"
Some will keep you talking at the front door while their accomplice sneaks in around the back. In all cases you need to be wary of strangers calling to your home.
•Do not open the door to anyone before you've checked who it is and what they want. Use a door viewer to safely check who is outside before you open it. Also, use a door chain.
•Check identification, where appropriate.
•Do not leave strangers unattended at your doorstep.
•Ensure your back door is locked when you answer a call at the front door.
Thieves and burglars love nothing better than cash so:
•Do not keep large amounts in your home. Use banks, building societies, credit unions and post offices as much as possible.
•Keep all credit and debit cards in a secure location, including bank and other financial details.
•Destroy old and out-of-date cards.
•Do not give your credit/debit card passwords to anybody.
•Avoid having large sums of money on your person when out and about.