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New Scams You Should Know About

One of the more popular topics we write about are scams perpetrated on unwitting citizens such as our readers. Here are some new scams that are making the rounds that you may not have heard of. The people doing the scamming are very creative-but all they want to do is get into your house.

Here are some new scams on citizens that are making the rounds that you may not have heard about.

This first story is from Consumer Reports and asks a question about your home security system being a magnet for scammers. Here’s what they had to say in part. The scammers claiming to be technicians from the home security system mentioned on the sign in your front yard may call to tell you that there have been recent glitches in your system and they’re sending somebody to repair it. Their goal – get into your house! If they do happen to get into your house, they may tamper with your system so they can return to burglarize your home unimpeded. Or a variation of this is that some con artists take a deposit for a new home security system and are never heard from again.

Or how about an unscrupulous sales agent implying that they are from your existing security company and they need to upgrade or replace your current system with the goal of pressuring you and assigning a new monitoring contract at inflated prices with a five-year term? Or the scammer claims the original system installer has gone out of business and that they’ve taken over the contract with the goal of convincing you to buy new equipment and again sign new contracts at a higher price with a long-term period?

If you get a call about your existing security company or system be on the lookout for scammers.

A study conducted by a company called Pindrop Security found that in 2014 home security telemarketing calls were the second most common telephone scam. Often the caller would offer a free home security system after mentioning a bunch of burglaries in the neighborhood to scare homeowners into action. In actuality the system was not free but came with expensive long-term monitoring costs.

The home security calls were second only to credit card reduction scams. The telephone is the most common means of communication for con artists. They are “an important partner in the FTC’s fight to protect consumers from being victimized by fraud.” Of the more than 10,000 computer consumer complaints filed in 2014 more than 40% of them originated with a phone call.

In Louisville, Kentucky police are looking for three suspects involved in up to a dozen home burglaries across the city of Louisville. The trio claim to be working for a roofing company and specialize in burglary of senior citizens.

This next story is not really a scam in the true sense of the word but four teenagers from Gilman Township in Wisconsin burglarized a home when the residents were at a funeral. When the residents returned they discovered a $4,500 watch, a PlayStation 4 console, 12 video games, five handguns and a lockbox with $12,000 in cash were missing. One of the family members told police that the burglars knew the family would be at the funeral and had texted her while she was there asking when the family would be coming back. Police got a tip on the perpetrators and have made arrests.

Across the pond in England a rash of burglaries has occurred with homeowners that have recently moved into long-term care homes or people who are on extended vacations. According to the story, police are urging people going on extended vacations and the family and friends of those moving into residential care take extra precautions to prevent break-ins. Criminals look for a lack of activity at a house so the more you can make a property look occupied the less likely it is to be targeted.

What scams do you know about that we haven’t covered? Please chime in with your thoughts because your experience may save someone else from a burglary. 

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