Over the years a lot of scams have been cooked up in order to steal or defraud homeowners. It is imperative that every time a new one comes along that you learn how to detect it and to protect yourself. The newest scam is someone who says they come from a home security company and that they need to check your entire system in order to give you a price on a home security system.
What they really want to do is to case your house to determine where the valuables are kept so that when they come back to rob you, they can do it much quicker and reduce their chances of being caught. Remember, you are in no way obligated to let them into your home.
Last month the scam surfaced in the St. Louis area, where a possible burglar pretending to be an agent for the Vivint alarm security company asked a homeowner identified only as “Sara” for entry into her home so he could inspect her current system, according to local station KSDK.
“Of course, he’s got to check all the doors, all the locks, all the systems, and then see everything you have in your house and how it’s stored,” she said. “It seems too opportunistic.”
Plus, he seemed awfully unprofessional.
“He said, ‘No, I don’t have a card,’” Sara recalled. “I said, ‘Well do you have a badge?’ He said, ‘Well no no I don’t have that either. But I do have this iPad.’ He got really nervous and he was like ‘Well, OK. But it is legit.’ And I said, ‘OK, why don’ t you just go ahead and leave.”
Wise decision. He was probably a burglar. And according to Vivint, he definitely wasn’t one of the company’s representatives.
And get this — earlier this year, burglars in Salt Lake Valley, Utah, went door to door pretending to sell solar panel systems, but not to trick homeowners into letting them inside. Instead, they knocked until they found homes where no one answered the door. Then they broke in, looking for jewelry and money.
The point here is to be alert. If a door-to-door salesperson shows up on your door and acts funny, lacks proper identification or just seems suspicious, call the authorities ASAP. The same applies if you see a salesperson or two or three inspecting neighborhood homes from the outside while your neighbors are away.