Knock knock...who's there?

'Knock, knock...who's there' is a campaign to raise awareness of doorstep safety and crime, bogus callers and rogue traders with years 5 and 6 children. The project includes resources for children, parents, relatives, carers and teachers to learn about doorstep safety together.

What counts as a bogus caller

A bogus caller is someone who tricks you into letting them into your home so they can steal money or valuables. They can be men, women or even children. They tend to target older people, but anyone can be a victim of a bogus caller. Often they work in pairs or small groups, so one can distract the victim while the others search the house. These crimes are also known as 'distraction burglaries'. Bogus callers steal thousands of pounds every year and the experience can be very upsetting for the victim.

Common bogus caller tricks

Common bogus caller tricks include: 

  • asking for help - for example, asking to use the toilet or phone
  • offering to do work on the house
  • saying they have lost a ball or a dog and ask to check in the garden
  • claiming to be from a trusted organisation such as the water board, a charity, the council, or the police

Rogue traders

Some traders who call at your door can be honest and genuine, though they can still be a nuisance if you do not want them to call.

Others are not honest but can be very persuasive in convincing people to part with money.

Common rogue trader tricks

Common rogue trader tricks include:

  • pressure selling
  • unfair contracts
  • overpriced, substandard or unnecessary home maintenance or improvements
  • phoney consumer surveys
  • bogus charity collections

Further information

For any comments or questions, contact the trading standards team.


Page last reviewed: 21 September 2022