The front door is a popular location for scammers and conmen to carry out crimes, as that’s where victim feels safe and comfortable. The elderly are particularly targeted by perpetrators as they are supposedly easy victims.
Culprits ring the bell under a fictitious pretext. They use clever conversation to gain the trust of victims and to attempt to enter the house. The victim is defenceless here where there are no witnesses or help on hand from third parties.
Typical pretexts used by con artists include:
“I have a package, flowers, etc. for the neighbours.”
“I’m pregnant and not feeling well. May I use your telephone quickly?”
“I’m carrying out a survey. Do you have a minute?”
“I’m here on behalf of your bank/building manager.”
“I’m a workman and have to check your piping.”
Reasonable protection and a healthy dose of scepticism are the best ways to protect yourself from home invasions. Only open the door to people you know. However, if there is a stranger at your door, an additional lock with a deadbolt gives you the option of opening the door a crack to speak with unknown persons or to accept small objects.
Unfortunately, the risk of becoming the victim of a robbery in your own home is increasing constantly. Indeed, police crime statistics show that there were 2,911 robberies in homes in 2011. This corresponds to an increase of 3.2% compared to the same period in the previous year.
Therefore, you should check carefully who is at your door and for whom you open it. Call the police if you are suspicious that a visitor is a criminal. Notify the police immediately following the incident if there has already been any damage!