A BOGUS utility company worker was sent packing by an elderly householder he was threatening.

The conman knocked on the door of the home in Norton-sub-Hambdon and demanded to be let in.

When challenged for ID, the suspect became aggressive, raised his fists and again demanded entry.

The victim firmly said he did no have to let him in and shut the door during the incident between 1pm and 2pm on Friday, September 30.

Police say they are treating the incident as a "potential distraction burglary".

The suspect is described as white, approximately 5ft 7in tall, in his 40s and wearing a bobble hat and blue jumper.

It is believed there was another man with him at the time.

Neil Dillon, Neighbourhood Manager for South Somerset, said: “The gentleman did exactly the right thing.

"He looked for ID and when he sensed something was not right, he shut the front door.

“Unfortunately distraction burglars often target vulnerable or elderly people in their homes.

"Sometimes they pose as officials from utility companies or other organisations, or make up stories to get into your home and steal from you.

“Any official company will always arrange a visit in advance and their staff will carry photo identification on them. If you are unsure if the person is who they say they are, ask for ID.”

Police offer the following advice if you are ever unsure about who is at your door.

  • If you’re not sure who is at your door, don’t open it or let anyone into your home.
  • Always put the chain on before you open the door. However, only put on your door chain as you answer the door - don't keep it on all the time as this could delay your exit in the case of fire.
  • Check the identity of the caller by calling the company they claim to be from. Use the numbers listed in the phone book or on a bill. Don’t use any phone numbers provided by the caller – they may be bogus. Some useful numbers to try: British Gas: 0800 048 0202 Bristol Water: 0800 801 011 Wessex Water: 0345 600 4600 (8am to 6pm).
  • Genuine callers won’t mind making an appointment for a date when you can have someone with you. This gives you time to check their identity too.
  • Remember, if the caller refuses to give details or does not show what you believe is a genuine ID card, do not let them in and call the police straight away on 999.
  • Call a neighbour or friend nearby to come along and check out the visitor.
  • Many service providers provide password schemes and it can be helpful to sign up to these. When unannounced callers knock at your door they should know the password if they’re genuine.
  • Keep doors locked and windows secure at all times.
  • If somebody asks for your help, needs to make phone call, claims to have lost a ball in your garden, needs a drink or pen and paper, don’t invite them into your house. If you really want to offer help, make them wait outside and while you’re away from your door, close and lock it.
  • Remember: it’s your doorstep, your decision.

Insp Dillon added: “In short, if you are unsure, don’t open the door.

"If you saw these men in the area, or have been approached by them we would love to hear from you to help with our investigations. You can call us on 101 quoting the reference number 5216218040.”

If you believe you have been contacted by a fraudster, report it and receive a police crime reference number by calling Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040 or using their online fraud reporting tool.

Alternatively you can contact the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111. They will never ask for your name or trace your call and you could earn yourself a cash reward.

Always dial 999 if a crime is in progress or someone is at risk.