In an exclusive survey, we found that 1 in 10 homeowners have been ripped off by a worker they have let into their home, and that 74% of us don’t background check an employee entering our property.
The survey of 1,000 home owners found that 90% of us let strangers into our home to provide a service. Professions in the study included trades people, (who made up 62% of the workforce), utility company representatives, cleaners, gardeners, charity fundraisers, nannies and housekeepers.
The study found incidences of homeowners being ripped of by the service providers to be as high as 13%, the same level of people ripped off buying a second hand car¹.
We released these statistics to call on homeowners to use online resources to ensure people they let into their homes are genuine.
Dominic Blackburn, Product Director of 192.com, says: “Directories are no longer used for just looking for people and businesses, they can also be used to verify identities.
“Homeowners can make use of 192.com’s comprehensive business listings to verify a company representative is genuine by simply asking them to confirm their offices address and phone number.
“For individuals, make use of 192.com’s free directory enquiry listings or edited Electoral Roll records to verify a person’s name and address. This will give you peace of mind that they are who they say they are, and give you a method of recourse if anything goes wrong.
“What’s more, if you’re an iPhone user, you don’t even need to switch on your computer to run an identity check, you can access 192.com’s directory records via our iPhone app.”
Mr Lewis* from Barnes expressed a cautious attitude to hired help, saying; “I always check their official identity if they have one. If I am in doubt I call their office using a number from a directory rather than one they supply. Of course people do show up at the door unexpected.”
Another respondent to the survey said: “I once employed a babysitter, who was a neighbour’s daughter. I thought I was safe to use her services, as I knew her parents well. I was horrified to find that she stole money from me and had done so for other neighbours she babysat for.”
To conduct an ID check on 192.com:
- Access free business listings to verify a companies’ address and telephone number
- Use 192.com’s free directory enquiries for a name and address check
- Go beyond directory enquiries with 192.com’s 280 million edited electoral roll records, accessing full names, addresses, other household occupants, age guides, and length of occupancy
The 192.com survey was conducted online between April and May this year.