Wales Heads of Trading Standards

Improving Trading Standards in Wales

Penaethiaid Safonau Masnach Cymru Yn Gwella Safonau Masnach Yng Nghymru

Distraction Burglars

Dealing with distraction burglars

These people are very different from rogue traders. They can be of any age and background, male or female, and will use a range of excuses to try and distract you, catch you off guard and trick their way into your home. So, don't let them through your door, remember the three step plan and don't let them anywhere near your valuables.

What tricks do they use?

Some will seem very innocent and may ask you for a glass of water or to use your phone, before finding another excuse to search your house for valuables. Others will pose as bogus officials, claiming, for example to be a health carer, market researcher or from the council, police or a utility company such as the Gas or Water board. Either way, they will play on your good nature and be very convincing.

What should you do to prevent doorstep crime?

Remember the Three Step Plan! You have the right to keep your door closed and tell them to go away.  If you are suspicious of a cold caller, you can report them to 101 and give a description of them and any vehicle you may have seen them use.

Top tips

  • Look before you answer the door – Glance through a window or spy hole to see who it is and if they have a recognisable vehicle.
  • Passwords – Make things easier and set these up in advance with your gas, water and electricity suppliers.
  • Nominated Neighbour Poster – Direct the caller to a safe window and show them your poster. Download a poster here (English) (Cymraeg) (Word, 198kb)
  • Identity cards – These can be faked, so if you're not expecting anyone, call their organisation to check using your own numbers for the organisation (i.e. bills, official letters, etc.).
  • Contact numbers – They may have an accomplice on the other end of the number they give you, particularly if it's a mobile number. So, call the organisation directly to make sure they are who they say they are.  Download a Telephone Numbers List (English) (Cymraeg) (PDF, 143kb) that can be kept close to your phone.