Also known as "Distraction Burglary?
A distraction burglary is a crime where entry is gained to premises, with the intention to steal, by a person pretending to be someone who would normally be allowed entry.
They include bogus Water, Gas and Electricity Board personnel, police officers, door-to-door sales, property repairers and gardeners.
Over 16,000 such offences are reported annually in England and Wales, but there is thought to be massive under-reporting due to the embarrassment of victims and ignorance of the offence. It has a devastating impact on victims.
The average age of a victim is 81 years with a disproportionate number being females living alone. Younger victims are generally vulnerable due to mental or physical health considerations.
Offenders normally work in teams of 2-4, but the victim will will usually see only one. They often use a vehicle parked a short distance away near to a main road.
They are known to travel long distances in one day to commit their crimes. When questioned in depth about identity cards offenders will make excuses and leave. Violence is very rare.