Blake Fire and Security Systems

Bogus Callers, Home Security and Petra Kvitova

Date: 10 January 2017
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A distraction burglary often involves two thieves, one to distract you and a second to steal your possessions. Be warned, unscrupulous criminals can appear very plausible with their stories, so this type of crime can happen to anyone.

During the week before Christmas, Wimbledon winner, Petra Kvitova, was injured by a bogus caller tricking his way into her apartment block. This blog post has advice on how to keep your home and family safe from this type of ruse!

Bogus Callers - how does a distraction burglary happen?

It's often, but not always, a two pronged attack. Working in pairs, scumbag one distracts you, the homeowner, while the other gains entry to your home. They will use some kind of fabricated story to put you off guard and keep you occupied while scumbag two steals your children's Xbox or tablet. Typical stories include:

  • Utility emergency: gas or water leak
  • Charity workers collecting in your area
  • Fake Police officers investigating

The story can be almost anything and the thieves will often dress up to look convincing - it doesn't just affect old people and the vulnerable, ANYONE can be tricked - as Petra Kvitova found out (see below).

Bogus Callers  stay safe.jpg

Tips from Essex Police

Most callers to your home will be genuine visitors, obviously, but a determined criminal is ingenious. He will use all his years of scamming experience to steal from you. The Essex Police have a page dedicated to preventing these criminals, here is their advice:

  • Don’t be frightened to ask for identification and always check it carefully. If you’re not sure, ask them to come back another day.
  • Think about installing a door chain and use it. Keep the door on the chain until you’ve seen identification.
  • If you need your glasses to read the identification, close the door before going to find them. Don’t leave the door open and unattended.
  • Remember to lock the back door before opening the front.
  • Don’t be pressured into letting someone into your home if you have suspicions.
  • Don’t keep large amounts of cash in the house.
  • Don’t believe scare stories. Not all callers are genuine.

These tips are just the tip of the iceberg...

You can do a lot more to make your home secure. A professional security company can help prevent you from becoming a victim like Petra Kvitova. Here are three ways Blake Fire & Security Systems can help to keep the scumbags out!

Door Entry

In blocks of flats and multi-occupancy houses door entry systems provide a first line of defence and let you buzz in the good guys and keep the bad ones at bay. These systems can include video so you can take a peek at your unexpected visitors as well as talking to them.

Automatic Gates

At larger properties automatic gates can act as your first line of defence. You have complete control over who you let onto your premises. A side benefit is that you will never forget to lock up after leaving because the gates do it for you!

Bogus Callers at bay.jpg

CCTV

Modern HD CCTV systems offer exceptional quality and allow you to vet who is outside your home before going to the door - you can even do it on your phone or tablet! A professional installation company will set your CCTV systems to optimise the security of your home.

A DIYer or unqualified supplier simply doesn't have the skills.

Not just the elderly, anyone can be a target

Thwarting a determined bogus caller can be dangerous. During the week before Christmas a famous tennis star was seriously injured in an attack from a bogus caller.

Two-time Wimbledon winner, Petra Kvitova, was attacked at her home in Prostejov in the Czech Republic. The attacker tricked his way into the apartment block posing as a utilities man, she suffered lacerations to her racquet hand while struggling with the intruder who was armed with a knife.

Four hours of surgery went well, but it will be three months until she can grip a racquet again and six until she can return to the practice court. And that is the best case scenario!

We don't want to overplay the risk of being attacked on your own doorstep by a bogus caller but it just goes to show that anyone of any age can be tricked by a convincing criminal.

It's wise to consider taking the necessary precautions!

beat the burglar checklist

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