Last reviewed on 3 June
Be scam aware
Read about the current scams circulating during the COVID-19 outbreak.
How can I protect myself from doorstep crime?
- Be wary if someone turns up unexpectedly.
- Keep front and back doors locked.
- Use the door viewer or nearby window when answering the door. Door chains are also useful.
- Be aware of current social distancing requirements – ask them to stand at least 2 metres away if possible.
- Don’t feel embarrassed – genuine callers expect you to be careful. Do not feel you are being rude by saying NO. You could always say that you need to call a relative.
- Always ask for identification badges of anyone you answer the door to, but don’t rely on them. Identity cards can be faked – phone the company to verify their identity.
- Never let people try to persuade you to let them into your home even if they are asking for help – they may not be genuine. If someone is persistent, ask them to call at another time and arrange for a friend or family member to be with you.
- Never agree to pay for goods or give money to strangers who arrive at your door.
- Never give out your personal information, like bank details, to anyone who arrives at your door.
- Do not be enticed by the offer of cheap goods or quotes for work.
- If you’re not sure, don’t answer the door.
What action should I take if someone visits me and I think they’re a doorstep criminal?
- Keep the caller out of your house, ask them to leave and call the police immediately by dialling 101.
- You might also want to try to alert a family member or attract a neighbour’s attention but you should always contact the police first by dialling 101. The police would much rather attend a false alarm than have someone fall victim to a doorstep criminal.
- If the person refuses to leave your door, or you feel threatened or scared call 999 and ask for the police.
- Note down their description and the description of any vehicle they’re using, including make, model, colour and registration number.
To report a crime, always call 999 in an emergency. Alternatively, you can call 101 in a non-emergency, or contact @MerPolCC or @CrimestoppersUK on Twitter.
Guidance for business
The Fraud Advisory Panel has set up a coronavirus fraud watch group, who meet weekly to share information on emerging fraud threats and trends.
It aims to act as a conduit to warn the public, private and third sectors about coronavirus fraud risks and the preventative actions that can be taken. Read the latest updates and advice.