What is distraction burglary?
Distraction burglary is a form of burglary where a burglar goes to an occupied house and attempts to trick the occupant into allowing them into the property, or creates a convincing diversion so that an accomplice burglar can gain access.
A distraction burglar will pretty much say or do anything that allows them to sneak into your home. These are the sort of devious tactics they have been known to use to distract people:
- Creating a fake emergency such as needing to turn off your gas supply in the event of a leak.
- Playing the sympathy card and pretending they need to use the phone, toilet or need a glass of water due to feeling unwell.
- Using their children as a distraction such as asking you to helping them with a project or sponsor them, or to gain access to the back of the house whilst they look for a lost ball.
- Giving you the impression that they are a friend of a neighbour and want to borrow stationery to leave them a note whilst they are out.
- Pretending to be a good samaritan and saying that they need to check/help you with something inside your house.
Who's vulnerable to distraction burglary?
Anyone can be a victim of distraction burglary but elderly and particularly vulnerable people are often targeted. To avoid yourself or a family member becoming a victim it's best to be armed with all of the facts so that you can protect yourself and your loved ones from this technique.
How to avoid becoming a victim
Lessen your chances of becoming a victim and help others not to be targeted by sharing what you've learnt about distraction burglary and these top tips:
- Keep your front and back doors locked when in the house.
- Stop and think about if you are expecting someone before opening the door.
- Add a spy hole to the door so that you can easily see if you recognise the person calling.
- If you're not expecting someone and you don't recognise the person outside the door don't let them into your home, no matter what tactics they use.
- If you are opening the door put the chain on first for extra security.
- When someone asks for a favour or to borrow something from you direct them to a shop or public place instead.
- If the person calling says that they are an official or from an organisation ask them to wait whilst you close the door and check the callers ID by phone.
- Call the police if you have any concerns at all about someone who has called at your door.
Concerned about your home security?
As specialist police approved locksmiths we have years of experience in securing residential and commercial properties across Sheffield and South Yorkshire.
If you need advice or assistance with improving your security or checking that your current locks meet today's standards call us on 07990 573 385. There is no call-out fee and we can be with you within the hour.