POLICE are urging residents to step up their doorstep security to reduce the number of bogus officials getting into homes in South Yorkshire.
Officers are reminding residents that bogus callers often dress appropriately for the role they are playing and can be convincing.
But they want people to check the identity of every caller by ringing up the firm they claim to represent.
South Yorkshire Police is warning that bogus callers often steal from the homes they get into or are accompanied by accomplices who sneak inside looking for valuables.
A police spokesman said: “When a crime has been committed using this method we call this distraction burglary, as they will have an accomplice with them who will steal your property as the bogus caller distracts you.
“These people often pose as employees of a gas supplier or from ‘the water board’. The Water Board hasn’t existed since 1998 so this is an easy way to spot they are lying.
“Yorkshire Water serves our region and like most utility companies operates a password scheme to benefit older members of the community.
“This is a free service and registration is simple.”
The force is also warning people top be on their guard against rogue traders offering to do work including roofing or guttering repairs but who charge extortionate prices for often substandard work.
The spokesman added: “Doorstep crime is exactly what is says, a crime committed by someone calling at your home.
“You may be visited by someone claiming that work needs to be done to your home, or they may offer to tidy your garden or clear away some rubbish.
“One thing is for sure, rogue builders or gardeners often trick people into paying very high prices for unnecessary or shoddy work. We call these people rogue traders.