An incident occurred recently of someone pretending to be from Department of Home Affairs in order to gain entry to people’s homes.
The person in question had documents with the Home Affairs letterhead and claimed to be checking that everyone has a valid ID for the upcoming elections.
We would like to take this opportunity to remind you to be vigilant.
- Check the identity card of any contractor before letting them in. If in doubt, ring the company – using the number in the Phone Book, Directory Enquiries or online – to confirm that the contractor is genuine
- Don’t leave the caller at an open door. Explain you are checking their details and then close and lock the door while you verify their identity. Alternatively, ask them to come back later, perhaps when someone else can be present
- Don’t let people in until you are satisfied you know who they are and what they are there for. Don’t let callers pressure you to let them in.
- Use the peep hole, glass panel, screen on your entry phone or a window nearby, to see who is at the door. If you have a door chain, keep it on when you open the door to prevent anyone trying to force their way in.
- Don’t just ‘buzz’ them in. In a communal block, it is common for those visiting friends and neighbours to ring the doorbells of any – or all – flats to gain entry to the building. Bogus callers use this tactic as well and even if you are not their intended target (if they have one), once they are inside the building, they are free to knock on any door they choose and it could be harder to get them to leave. If someone rings your bell, speak to them on the intercom to find out who they are. Don’t be afraid to refuse entry; by doing so, you are protecting yourself and your neighbours.
- Be suspicious if you are asked for money up front. Bogus tradesmen can be very persuasive but you should think twice about hiring someone on the doorstep
- If you do let them in – stay with them at all times If you are suspicious, ring the police on 101.