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Keeping chain on door, ask callers from council or any other organization to pass through some identification. If you need your glasses to check this don't think it's rude to close door and go and get them. A genuine caller won't mind. If you're still not sure, ask caller to leave and tell them to write and make an appointment so that someone else can be with you next time they call. The basic rule is if you don't know person at your door don't let them in.
As part of Government's "Stop, Chain, Check" campaign, local councils, social services and Age Concern centers have further information they can provide to older people. They can also help with door viewers, chains and mirrors, and in certain circumstances, may be able to supply a personal attack alarm that connects through to a control center.
Never take your safety for granted. Criminals won't hesitate to take advantage of your generosity by pretending to need to use your telephone.
Kevin Carraway is the owner of http://www.buy-stun-gun.com, which specializes in Stun Master 775,000 volt stun guns and offers a free crime prevention tips newsletter.