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Stay Safe: Signs of a Door- to- Door Scam

October 4, 2018

People are constantly trying to outsmart security systems, and they often do it by convincing homeowners to let them into the property.

There are many pretenses used, and door-to-door scams are very common. Once a criminal is inside your home, they can look over the property for a future crime, steal things, or even physically harm you. As a result, it’s essential to know how to spot a scam.

A scam online is simple to ignore. You delete the email or keep scrolling. In person, scams are a lot more dangerous, which makes security especially important.

Here’s what you need to know!


Don’t Trust a Uniform or Badge

One way scammers try to establish authority and get past security systems is by wearing official-looking clothes. Just because you see a uniform or badge doesn’t mean that someone should be at your home, especially if you weren’t expecting them.

If someone shows up claiming they need to do official business, make them stay outside on the porch while you call the company to confirm who they are.

No matter how well you were raised, it’s OK to shut the door in the face of a door-to-door salesman or scammer. Unfortunately, scammers are known to target older Americans because they are more likely to be home and easier to talk into giving access.


Types of Scams to Watch For

Part of having strong security systems in place is knowing what to look for. Some scams are to get you to give up money, and others are about gaining access to your home for theft or to look it over for a future crime.

Here are some scams you may see in your area:


Fake Utility Workers

A pair of workers in official-looking uniforms knock on your door and tell you that they need to look over a utility emergency in your home. If you don’t let them in, they may threaten fines or other consequences.

If you do let them in, one of them will distract you by explaining something complex, and the other will walk around your home, stealing valuables. They will then claim everything is fine and leave – with you money or valuables.

What to do: Never let utility workers inside your home without an appointment. Keep both “workers” in sight while you call the utility to confirm the “emergency.” Get the number yourself, don’t get it from them! Don’t let them scare you with threats of fire, flood, or fines.


Fake Survey/Census Takers

One or two people may appear on your doorstep, claiming to be from the census. They will ask you very detailed information, including financial, income, and your social security number.

The goal of this con is to get you to give up information so they can steal your identity. Remember that the census never asks for your social security number.

What to do: Ask to see their identification and badge before answering any questions. Make sure they have things like a handheld device, a confidentiality notice, and a census bureau canvas bag. Remember, the census is only done every four years – take a moment to look up whether this is a census year before answering any questions. And never give out your social security number!


Fake Home Security Offers

This deserves its own article, but it’s common enough that we couldn’t overlook it here.

If someone shows up unannounced claiming to be from your existing security company’s “new ownership company” or claiming your company has gone out of business, do not believe them.

Instead, call your current company immediately, without letting the “technicians” in. If a company truly goes out of business, there is communication in advance.

If someone is looking to sell you a new security system by offering a “free security inspection,” do not let them in. Instead, tell them that you can shop for security systems yourself and you don’t buy from door-to-door sales. Call the police if they won’t leave.


Get the Security Systems You Need Today!

Avoiding door-to-door scams is much easier if you have the right security systems in place. From alarms to video doorbells and video monitoring, we can help you with the safety you need.


Want to learn more about how ICU Protection, LLC can protect your home? Check out our Services page!