VETERAN celebrities are joining in the battle to stop tricksters conning their way into the homes of elderly and vulnerable people.
A new campaign called Lock, Stop, Chain and Check has been backed by Terry Wogan, Sir Jimmy Young and Valerie Singleton.
National organisations such as Age Concern and Neighbourhood Watch are also urging people to follow the simple crime prevention steps to keep the thieves out.
The burglars knock on doors and tell the victim a tale to trick their way in - often claiming they need to turn the victim's water off.
Once inside, the victim is distracted or another offender slips in to search through drawers and ward- robes for cash, jewellery and other valuables.
Assistant Chief Constable Graeme Gerrard, chairman of the Association of Chief Police Officers' Burglary Reduction Working Group, said: "While incidences of distraction burglary are relatively low, this crime can have a devastating effect on its victim's confidence and health.
"Although older people are less likely to be victims of crime overall, bogus callers often focus on this group believing them to be easy targets."
Sir Jimmy said: "This campaign is a great way to get people thinking about keeping their homes safe."
The campaign urges people to lock their doors at all times, stop and think who may be calling if there is a knock on the door, put the door chain on before opening the door and thoroughly check the identification of anyone calling.
Genuine callers will wait.