Beware of Door to Door Scams

People always laugh and think – “that will never happen to me”. And we certainly hope that it will not. However, a few things to keep in mind always; but especially this time of year. It may sound like a bad start to a home alone movie, but there is historical reports of some common scams that are still victimizing people today.

The Free Alarm System

This is a new twist on the old approach. Typically, the thief, or an accomplice of the thief posing as a security alarm provider arrives at your door and either shows some fake credentials/ID or says they “left it in his truck”. They will mention a few accurate points about how your home may be targeted by criminals because it lacks several key security features – an alarm system, signs on your property, security cameras and proper lighting. They even can provide you with some statistics that may even be accurate (but most likely made up and/or altered to further instill fear into you and bring you closer to them as they relate to how scary that can be. They gain your trust and suggest they can point out some other key features you can have installed – for free even, inside your home. This is of course their true goal – they wish to get inside your home. What happens next can be various, but the key aspects they all share are that they are now inside your home and they can at the very least gather some key information about your house. Sometimes, the theft will occur at that very moment now that they are inside your safe haven. To long game thief is scoping out your home, they make mental notes about good points of entry, where key valuables are stored, pictures showing your family so they can figure out how many people may be coming and going – possibly all while explaining to you some great security devices that can help prevent the kind of burglary they are planning at this very moment.

Protect Yourself

A common tactic used at the door is to show paperwork or signage that has known names like ADT or Alarm.com – brand names you know and trust to help them gain your trust in them. A few things should immediately come to mind right away when someone knocks at your door. Primarily, trusted alarm installers not only have proper credentials, but also have a uniform and drive a company vehicle. Even with these items, before you let anyone into your home you should do some research on your own – verify that the person works for a trusted local company and schedule the appointment yourself.

With the growing number of home invasions that occur which typically increase around Christmas time, you should be cautious even opening your door to strangers to talk with them. A two-way communication system with the outside will both keep you safe and protected while allowing you to speak with the stranger and prevent them from even seeing inside your home. For example the Nest Hello System that TJC Systems highly recommends allows users to see, and even speak to someone at their door either to answer the push of the doorbell or just to talk through the device to someone knocking on their door – even when you are not home! Picture the burglar’s reaction to hearing you talk to him when he was trying to break into your home thinking no one was there!

The Bottom Line

The safest way to conduct any business is through an appointment you made directly and you requested from a recognized professional business that is local to your area. Stay safe.