When Strangers Come Knocking-Home Security Measures to Protect Against Criminals in Disguise

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Security Tips to Protect Against Home Invasions and Break-Ins
July 21, 2023

When Strangers Come Knocking-Home Security Measures to Protect Against Criminals in Disguise

In a recent news report released by CBS Boston, an organized crime ring involving home invasions and other property crimes is being investigated across multiple states. In these crimes, the suspects have been posing as workers from the water department and other false identities as a way to fool residents and gain entry into their homes. 

Do you know what to do when someone unexpected comes knocking at your door? How about your children? Today’s criminals are getting more and more creative when it comes to how they go about targeting and gaining access into homes. Without a proper home security plan in place, you or one of your loved ones just might open the door to a criminal in disguise. 

Residential Crimes Involving Violence by a Stranger

According to the latest U.S. Department of Justice National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS), approximately 266,560 household burglaries involve a violent crime to a resident of the home each year. Of these crimes, 28% of the criminals were strangers to the resident. The following are additional statistics regarding the violent crimes involved: 

  • 15% of the violent crimes involved physical assault.
  • 3% involved rape.
  • 36% of the crimes involved minor injury to a resident.
  • 9% of the crimes involved serious injury to a resident.

Criminals that prefer to use residents as a means to rob them of their possessions tend to be more brazen criminals than your average burglar, thereby increasing the risk of violence against their victims. This is why it is so important to educate yourself and implement home security measures to protect against criminals in disguise.

Home Security Measures to Protect Against Criminals in Disguise

Criminals don’t care who you are or the type of residence you live in. What they look for are easy targets. So it’s up to you to be vigilant and to take the necessary steps to implement a home security plan to protect you and your family against these thugs. 

The following are some home security tips by residential security expert and Vice President of Global Security Experts, Jordan Frankel, that can help you and your loved ones keep from being fooled by a criminal in disguise.

  1. Adopt a “SAFETY FIRST” mindset and teach it to everyone in your family. When someone knocks at the door or rings the doorbell, it’s instinctive for most people to go to the door and answer it. Don’t make this mistake! You and your family members must always think “safety first.” If you haven’t already adopted the golden rule of “NEVER OPEN THE DOOR TO A STRANGER,” now is the time to do so. It’s important for every person in your family to understand the reasons they should never open the door to a stranger, even if it is someone who appears to be a police officer, salesman, or utility worker. This is especially important for young children to learn. If your children are too young to fully understand what to do, they would be better protected by teaching them that the door is only to be answered by a grown up inside the house. 
  2. Be cautious of people dressed as a police officer or a sales, delivery or utility worker. If you see someone on the other side of your door who is dressed as an authority figure (i.e., police officer, fireman, etc.) or a sales, delivery, or utility worker, there is no legal obligation to open the door. Simply ask the person their name and the agency they represent, and then call the place they claim they are from to verify their identity. If it is a salesperson, just tell them you are not interested and politely ask them to leave. If at any time you feel unsafe or the person at your door won’t leave, call 911 and report the situation immediately. Remember–SAFETY FIRST!
  3. Make sure everyone in your family has a safe way to see who’s behind the door, including your children. Depending on where you live, you might have people you know dropping by quite often. This increases the tendency for kids and other family members to put let their guard down when they hear someone knocking at their door. This is all the more reason you need to ensure everyone in your family has a safe way to check who is at the door before they open it. You can do this by installing extra peepholes at varying heights. Even better is installing an electronic peephole or a home surveillance system that allows you to see who’s at your door via a display screen or a cell phone. If you decide to utilize one of these devices, be sure it has an LCD monitor that everyone can use to view who’s outside your door from multiple heights and angles within your residence, even by the smallest of children.
  4. Increase the security of your door with a heavy-duty security door brace.It takes more than a standard door lock to keep a determined intruder out of your home. In addition to a security-grade deadbolt, invest in a heavy-duty security door braceto help protect against criminals in disguise. With such a device installed along the base of the interior of your entry door, you won’t have to worry so much about having an intruder forcing his way through your door. A security door brace such as the OnGARD is specifically designed to hold up against brute forces up to approximately 1800 pounds of pressure. This will give you and your family the time needed to call 911 and seek safety while you wait for police to arrive.

Don’t Be Fooled by a Criminal in Disguise

Just as criminals think of new ways to fool residents into opening their doors to them, you must think of new ways to protect yourself and your family. Starting with the above home security measures to protect against criminals in disguise is a great place to start. You can never be too safe when strangers come knocking at your door. 

Sources:

CBS Boston (March 15, 2019). Police: Florida men posed at water dept. workers, scammed residents: Retrieved from https://boston.cbslocal.com/2019/03/15/stoughton-break-in-home-water-department-arrest-warrant-paul-stanley-mitchell-florida/