If you have a peephole, use it to vet any callers.
If you don’t have a peephole use a chain. A door chain is very useful for elderly people. Have one fitted and use it. Never let strangers into your house unless you have checked their credentials.
- If the caller gives you a phone number to ring be suspicious. The person on the other end may be their accomplice. Check in the phone directory and make the caller wait with the door locked and the chain on while you make the phone call. Beware of anyone who protests at your caution or treats it with contempt.
- If you are doubtful dial 999 and explain your suspicions.
- If you are still unsure politely but firmly refuse entry.
- Always close and lock your door before going to look for your purse or anything else.
Extra advice for flat-dwellers
- Do not automatically buzz open the main door if a caller buzzes up to your apartment with a plausible sounding excuse.
- Never hold the door open for a stranger whose arrival coincides with your departure. Don’t worry about appearing rude. Simply smile and cite security. Innocent people will understand.