Ruse Burglary incidents usually occur in daylight hours. The offender will literally walk right into someone’s home for the purpose of stealing valuables like jewelry or money. Many times the homeowner is home or on the property. If the offenders are caught, they give some kind of excuse as to why they are in or on the property. Often the scam artists will portray themselves as a utility worker. Please remember that all Village employees & utility workers will have proper identification.
PREVENTION: Keep your home locked, even when you are working in your yard or shoveling snow. Keep in mind, when you are outside your home, it is very difficult to see every door a thief could use. As with any suspicious circumstance, call 911 to make a report.
Examples of Common Ruse Burglary Scams:
The offender approaches a homeowner with a claim of having “left-over” coating material and contracts to seal the homeowner’s driveway. Once the homeowner pays for the job, the offender sprays a cheap oily material on the driveway and leaves the premises.
The offender will tell you they were just passing by and noticed you need a new roof, siding, driveway or other building maintenance. The offender will then offer to do the work for a price that seems very reasonable and will ask you to pay in advance. Once you pay, the offender leaves without doing any work.
These are just two examples of scams but know they take many other forms. Sometime scammers will claim to be employees of a local utility in order to gain entry into homes.
Please make it a common practice to keep your doors and windows locked, only answer the door or telephone if you know who is on the other end, verify anything that seems too good to be true, and notify law enforcement in all suspicious and emergency situations.
Other common scams to be aware of include: Social security scams, where the scammer will claim to be from the social security administration and try to get the victim to reveal their social security number.
Phone scams, where the caller might say you were selected for a special offer or that you will be arrested, fined or deported if you don’t pay taxes or some other debt right away.
Phishing Scams, where the scammer sends an email or text message to trick you into giving them personal information. Phishing emails and texts may look like they are from a company you know and trust. They often tell a story to trick you, such as they’ve noticed some suspicious activity or log-in attempts or claim there’s a problem with your account.
Unemployment scams, where an imposter files a claim for unemployment benefits in your name. You may learn about the fraud by receiving a notice from the state unemployment benefit office or your employer.
For more information about these scams and things you can do to protect yourself, please visit https://consumer.ftc.gov/features/scam-alerts. If you have elderly neighbors or relatives, please share this information with them.