Careline would like to send a warning out to our customers in Northern Ireland after an elderly couple became victims of a distraction burglary at their home. This incident is just one of a number of door-knocking scams that are effecting the elderly across the UK.
Over the past month there have been door-knocking scams in York and in Preston where an elderly man was conned into believing a policeman was at his door – however it was a thief who forced his way into the house and stole valuables including the owner’s car.
This new incident took place in the city of Lisburn, which is around eight miles away from Northern Ireland’s capital city of Belfast. In the new report, Careline read that the elderly couple received a knock on their door from a man who informed them that he was ‘conducting gardening work in the area’ and wanted to show residents what he was planning to do.
Convinced by the man’s words, the couple led the man to their back garden. Whilst this was going on an intruder entered their home and raided their bedrooms, taking a sum of cash and a cheque book.
The report shared some tips and advice on how to avoid becoming a victim and as a national personal alarm provider for the elderly we would like to share these with you, along with our own quick tips.
Top Tips to avoid Distraction Burglary
- Ask for I.D – Genuine companies and traders will have some form of identification. They should carry business cards or preferably photograph identification which states their role and the company that they work for. No I.D? Then tell them you are not interested.
- Check – In Northern Ireland you can use a service called Quick Check to find out if work is scheduled for your address on that day. The number for this service is 0800 013 22 90.
- Don’t be fooled – If somebody tries to convince you to take them through to your garden or garage then it should be on your terms. If you do choose to show them then ensure that you lock your property and close any windows. It is better to be safe and secure about situations such as this.
- Use your security devices – Check who is at the door before you answer. You can do this by using a door chain or by a peep-hole device. If you do not recognise the individual on the other side then don’t answer your door. An intercom system could also be useful if your budget can stretch to match the cost.
- Ignore the door – If you are not expecting any visitors and you hear a knock at the door then the best option would be just to ignore it. If there is no answer then it is likely that the individual knocking will move on and leave you be.
- Call for help – If the knocking continues or becomes a daily occurrence then you should contact members of your family or friends and ask them to visit you. They can then answer the door for you and explain that you are not interested in the service they or offering, or they can deal with the individuals involved like in this story.
Purchase a Careline
Having a personal alarm system in your home could be very useful in these situations. Having a pendant around your wrist or neck would allow your to press for help if somebody is constantly knocking at your door and if you are feeling worried.
One push of the button would alert our 24/7 Care Team who would be able to communicate with you over your alarm’s loudspeaker to see what the situation was. They would then be able to call for your emergency contacts – friends, family or neighbours – and ask them to attend.
The Care Team will also be able to call for the Police if you do feel threatened in any way. Our aim here at Careline365 is to ensure that the elderly continue to leave independently in their home without having to live in fear.
You can order a Careline through this website or by giving a member of our sales team a call on 0800 101 333 today. Feel free to give us a call if you have any questions about the system or if you would like to receive an information pack.