It can be quite common for you to have deal with door knockers at your home. Whether its salesmen, workmen or members of certain activist or religious groups, eventually this issue can become irritating. In some cases, it can even become dangerous.
The risks are high as you're are opening the door to your home to somebody who you don't know. Crimes such as distraction burglaries and money scams are common results of answering the door to door knockers.
In today's post we'll give you a list of things to remember when you hear a knock at the door. For more ways of avoiding crime please see our in-depth guide.
1. Keep your Home Secure
It's first nature to do as much as we can to keep our home secure, and this should be at the front of your mind when responding to door knockers. If you're generally not expecting anybody, or if you manage to peak out of the window to see who is at the door, then the best thing to do would be to ignore it.
By ensuring that you never open the door and that the conversation doesn't begin, you're keeping the you and your home safe from any intruders. You cannot be scammed or distracted if you don't answer the door.
If curiosity gets the better of you and you go to answer the door we would suggest opening it with the chain on. This allows you to peak out to see who is there, without providing them with a way in should they try to.
2. Who are these Door Knockers?
If you've opened the door, it's time to find out who is there. Door knockers will try their best to convince you that they're a member of an organisation and that they're there to provide you with a service or advice. The question is, can they prove it?
You should always ask for some form of photographic identification. If the person doesn't have any proof of identity then it's time to end the conversation and close the door. Employees of all major organisations should have identification with them.
Other things to look out for include a possible company car which carries the organisation's logos, and their uniform - are they wearing company clothes? You could go one step further by calling the company that the person claims they work for, to ask them whether said person is an employee.
3. Questions, Questions, Questions
As with potential phone scams, door knockers who aren't legit will begin to struggle once you start asking questions. The more questions you ask the quicker you'll be able to tell whether or not they are who they say they are.
You should ask them questions about the service they provide, the company they work for and details of their own employment with this company. If they aren't who they say they are, they will be to stumble and stutter their way through their responses.
If you're suspicious it's time to close the door.
4. You know if you need a Service
Sadly, it is common for older people to be targeted by dodgy tradesperson looking to make quick and easy money. We often hear about tradesperson knocking on people's doors and telling them that their is an issue with their home - such as their guttering or roofing.
They will insist that they are the people to help you, before issuing a high quotation and saying that they can start straight away. In reality, they'll take your money, turn up once and then never return - leaving you wish an half-finished job that didn't need doing in the first place. In some cases they may even raid your home and steal your belongings.
In most cases. you know if some work needs doing to your home. A legit trade company wouldn't randomly knock on your door to tell you that something is wrong. It's safer to say no and close the door there and then.
5. Don't Stall - Say No and Call for Help
The biggest tip we can give is to say no! Whether this is when you first hear a knock, ignoring it completely, or when you've heard enough to doubt the person at the door. It's much safer to end the conversation and close the door.
If the door knocking doesn't stop or if you feel in danger once you've closed the door then please call for the police and family members. If you have a personal alarm, press your red help button and the Response Team will respond.
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