Have you ever heard a knock at the door late at night and thought, ‘Who could that be? I’m not expecting anybody.’ You hope that it is a friend or relative coming to surprise you. But most likely, you also fear it could be home invaders looking to get into your house through violence if necessary.
A couple in their 60’s found that out the hard way in late 2014 when gang members looking for a drug dealer’s house to rob hit the wrong place. According to the FBI, the couple was pistol-whipped, stabbed, and bound as the thieves looted their home.
The scary thing about a typical home invasion is that the intruders are likely armed and are willing to do you lethal harm if necessary. However, a typical home invasion doesn’t require forced entry at all. They are called home invasion scams and could have deadly consequences.
The Element of Surprise is the Key to a Home Invasion Scam
Scam artists looking to break into your home count on the element of surprise to throw you off guard for just a few seconds; long enough to overwhelm you and get into your house. There are many different ways that they will try to force their way into your home, but these scams all have similar elements:
- They target people who are deemed vulnerable like the elderly or someone living alone.
- They often happen during the day when you least expect a home intruder.
- They may have been casing your home from a parked car on your street for days, weeks, or months before they attack.
- Many times they are armed and capable of using lethal force to gain entry into your home.
What to Look Out for
Your best weapon against a clever home invasion scam is a smart home defense strategy. That strategy begins with training yourself to always keep your head on a swivel and to stay aware of your surroundings. Here are 5 common home invasion scams and what to do to avoid becoming a victim.
A Broken Down Car: A car you’ve never seen before is broken down outside of your house and the “driver” asks you for help. Don’t fall for it; it’s likely a scam. Call AAA for them – do not give them your phone or go outside to look.
A Service Person: You’re likely aware of this old scam; a thief dresses up as a cable guy or repairman and wants to come into your house. Ask for ID and a number to verify their identity before you open the door. If they are legit, they won’t have a problem with it. If it is a scam, they will likely leave. (If they do leave – call the police and report it immediately!)
A Special Delivery: You weren’t expecting a package, but someone purporting to have a special delivery for you is knocking at your door. Don’t open it, it probably a scam. Tell them to leave it at the door. If they demand a signature, tell them to leave it at the post office.
5 Tips for Avoiding Home Invasion Scams
- Never open the door before looking first.
- If you are suspicious don’t open the door – call 911.
- Place mace, a bat, or some other weapon by your front door.
- Make them think that you are not alone.
- Be leery of appeals to your sympathies from strangers at your door.
Get Expert Home Defense Training
At USSS Inc., we provide professional level expert training in home defense including basic, advanced, and tactical firearms training as well as self defense techniques. We can help prepare you to handle possible threats to your home, including home invasion scams. Contact us now for more information.