Senior scam home robberies. Beware of anyone who comes to your door with a partner - especially if they are selling something, asking for donations by check or want to offer you a free service such as checking your chimney, your garage etc.
Here is an incident sent in by one of our readers in April. It happened while she was visiting her father.
"I was at my parent's house today and two college age kids came to the door looking for magazine donation money to send magazines to the military and supposedly they were getting money for a college trip.
My dad let them in before I could say anything and one used the toilet and was in there a little bit too long. I told my dad to just give them a little bit just to get them out of the house and they had him make out the check for CAS (so they can just add an H later).
I was just happy to get them out of the house. It was pretty scary."
So, why is this scary? What is this all about?. Why could this have been a Senior scam home robbery set up?
1. They came in a pair and one asked to use the bathroom. This meant that the home owner's attention was divided. You can not watch two people in two different places in your house at the same time. This is a classic move used by thieves.
Suggestion for handling possible Senior scam home thieves:
Never let anyone selling anything or asking for money inside your home. Never. If they need a bathroom give them directions to the closest gas station or fast food restaurant eg. McDonald's. Do not let them inside your home.
Why? While the person is out of your sight, they can roam the house and either pick up some valuable or make note of what you have - for a robbery to take place at a later date. Also, bathrooms are often the place where prescription medications, including pain medication, are stored. Medication is more and more frequently a desired Senior scam home robbery item.
2. They asked for a check. Now they have the person's name AND their checking account information. This can be used to forge new checks, to change the amount entered on the face of the check or it could be the first step towards identity theft.
Suggestion: If giving a donation or buying a small item from an unknown charity or merchant, always use cash. If you want a record for you taxes, ask the person to make a receipt for you. Do not give them a check or anything with your bank name or information.
Luckily, in the case cited above the daughter was there and could usher the college students out the door. This might have prevented any sort of theft at the time. It also might prevent them from returning later since it appears that this particular senior is not all alone all the time.
Thank you to the readers who sent this example.
Click here to read other Senior scam home and business tips