How to beat a bogus caller

Most callers to your home will be genuine but it is worth taking a few precautions to ensure you feel safe at home. The following people and organisations are working together to help you.
Older lady opening her front door to welcome an ECL member of staff in a white tunic.

Working together to help you

Local councils, health workers, the police, and gas, water and electricity companies, with groups such as Age Concern and National Neighbourhood Watch, are all working together to reduce this crime even more.

Crime against older people is rare. The advice below will help to protect you, your family and friends and stop this crime so you can live safely and securely in your home.

Crime Prevention Officers

Your local Crime Prevention Officer can give you more advice about door bars, chains and security around your home. Contact them at your local police station.

Local councils

Community safety, housing or social services or your health visitor can give you advice or even provide door bars.

Age Concern

A welfare organisation for older people, with offices across the country. They run projects in some areas to fit security devices in older people’s homes. Look in your local phone book for your local centre or phone their national advice line free on 0800 009 966. The line is open seven days a week from 7am–7pm. If you are deaf or have hearing difficulties, you can contact the line through Typetalk.

Help the Aged

Provide practical support to help older people live independent lives. They run a free

national phone advice line – SeniorLine – on 0800 800 6565. The line is open from 9am– 4pm, Monday–Friday. In some areas, Help the Aged run schemes that supply and fit home security equipment.

Neighbourhood Watch

Try to join (or set up) a Neighbourhood Watch, Home Watch scheme or Residents’ Group. It’s a good way of working together to make your community safer. (Contact your local Crime Prevention Officer or Community Safety Officer at your local council if you would like to set one up).

Or, if you are a member of your local Neighbourhood Watch, watch out for older people in your area. For more information contact the National Neighbourhood Watch Association on 0207 7723 348.


The gas, water and electricity companies, and some councils, now have a password system for older and vulnerable customers. Customers give the company a word which is confidential to them and the company.

When their representative calls, they will be expected to tell the customer the password to prove they are genuine. Many companies offer special services to help you even more. Please contact your gas, water and electricity suppliers, or other utilities, to find out more.