Have you ever been eating dinner with your family when a stranger rings your doorbell, offering to do cheap improvement tasks around your house? Many people find themselves caught off-guard by the visit and invite the alleged contractor inside to take a closer look. This could be a mistake, however, as the “handyman” might be a scammer in disguise.
It’s no secret that door-to-door tactics are a favorite of scammers looking to case homes for later burglaries. It’s also not surprising that people who claim to be contractors can turn out to actually be hucksters. Read on for our tips on protecting yourself from these scams.
When someone comes to your door and wants to peek around your shoulder into your home, they could just be trying out an aggressive brand of outreach… or they could be casing your home for their burglar pals. Generally speaking, you should simply ignore any strangers at your door–especially if they try to get inside.
If you see someone making the rounds in your neighborhood, ringing doorbells and inspecting homes, they might be a new professional trying to reach out for customers. However, you’re not missing anything if you ignore them; you can always find the names and numbers of handymen online or at your local hardware store.
Before you invite contractors into your home to do improvement work, do some research. Is the company they work for a legitimate one? Are their employees licensed and bonded? Do they have insurance in the event of accidents? If the answer to any of these questions turns out to be “no,” then you should not do business with them. The price might be cheap, but the risks are too high.
Actual contractors will go out of their way to defend the reputation of the company they work for. If you’re in the market for home improvement, you won’t find it hard to verify the credentials of a legitimate company online.
If you’re worried that contractors in your home may have been casing your abode for a later burglary, consider investing in a home security system. If you already have one, rearranging where the cameras face and where motion detectors are located can help reduce any blindspots and throw off would-be burglars. That way, even if the scammers made robust notes on the home’s security, they’ll still get caught on camera.